Bordering the River Yare, Thorpe Marshes is one of the Trust’s more urban sites, located on the eastern fringe of Norwich. The site is a wonderful mixture of habitats: flower-rich marshes criss-crossed with dykes that are home to many dragonfly and damselfly species, including the rare Norfolk hawker, and the even larger emperor dragonfly. Several species of common butterfly can also be encountered on a good day.
The reserve contains a large area of open water – a former gravel working known as St Andrew’s Broad. This hosts a variety of waterbirds, particularly in winter, including great crested grebe, pochard, cormorant, grey heron, gadwall and tufted duck. Rarer visitors, such as little egret, are regular. The surrounding scrub is home to reed buntings and a few Cetti’s warblers, whose noisy, explosive song is often their only giveaway.
More surprisingly, given its proximity to Norwich city centre, a number of mammals have been recorded on the reserve including the odd-looking Chinese water deer, and its smaller relative the muntjac. Foxes have been seen, as well as hedgehog, stoat and weasel. Most excitingly, the rare water vole occurs in small numbers.
Read more about Thorpe Marshes, including wildlife sighting on the website of our walk leader
at Thorpe Marshes, Chris Durdin.
DANGER DEEP WATER - NO SWIMMING