Broads Wildlife Centre at Ranworth Broad 1/3
Ranworth Broad, photo by Mike Page 2/3
Dyke dipping at Ranworth Broad, photo by Alan Howard 3/3

Ranworth Broad

The floating Broads Wildlife Centre is reached by a boardwalk and has a panoramic vista across the water.

From here, good numbers of wildfowl – wigeon, gadwall, teal, shoveler and pochard – can be watched in the winter. Great crested grebes are present all year, though much more elegant in their summer plumage, and kingfishers occasionally zip across the water. Hundreds of cormorants roost in skeletal, dead trees, with marsh harriers passing overhead. Common terns nest in front of the Centre.

The boardwalk passes through excellent woodland and reedbed habitats; a number of interesting plants are present, as well as common woodland birds. The explosive song of the Cetti’s warbler can often be heard, though these brown skulkers are much harder to see. Swallowtails are present, as well as Norfolk hawkers and other dragonflies.

Boat trips

Perhaps the best way to enjoy Ranworth is by joining one of NWT’s electric boat trips. Explore the Broad and its channels – as well as abundant wildlife you will also see the wrecks of wherries sunk in WWII to prevent German seaplanes from landing on the water. The trips are 45 minutes and depart at 10.45am, 12.15pm, 2pm and 3.30pm.

Ferry trips available between the Staithe and Visitor Centre. They depart 15 mins before the boat trips above and then straight after. Please call the visitor centres for more information: 01603 270060

Cockshoot Water Trail - every Sunday in July and August at 10.45am, from Ranworth Broad to NWT Cockshoot Broad.

Osprey

This majestic fish-eating raptor has a 5ft (1.5m) wingspan, and unmistakable brown and white plumage. In recent years Ranworth Broad has been lucky enough to have been visited by ospreys – many of them long-staying – on a number of occasions. Consequently, the Trust erected a nesting platform in the hope that a pair of these summer migrants can be encouraged to remain at the reserve, rather than just using it as a handy stop-off site.

Swallowtail

Ranworth can be a good place to see Britain’s most spectacular butterfly flitting around the reedbeds near the Broads Wildlife Centre between late May and July. They can also sometimes be seen from the boat trips.

Otter

Sleek and magnificent, the otter is one of the UK’s most special mammals. Unfortunately, due to its largely nocturnal, secretive nature they are also very hard to catch up with. Ranworth Broad offers a chance, as otters are regularly seen at the site.

Common Tern

Enjoy the noisy antics of the common terns which nest on specially built platforms in front of the Wildlife Centre. These graceful summer visitors are slimmer and smaller than gulls, acrobatically plunging into the water to catch small fish.

Details

Address

Post code
NR13 6HY
Map reference
OS Landranger 132
Grid reference
TG 358151
Designation
NNR, Ramsar, SAC, SPA, SSSI
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Type
Visitor centre
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