It has been nearly four months since we closed our five centres and bird watching hides around the county to help fight the spread of coronavirus in Norfolk. As the situation and Government guidance progresses, we have been working hard to put new procedures and safety measures in place to enable some of our centres to reopen, albeit with some restrictions.
Our visitor centres will closely follow Government covid guidance. We know many have been enjoying walking along the paths and East Bank at Cley overlooking the marshes. Although at the moment we must keep the hides and access boardwalk closed for safe social distancing measures, we are pleased to be able to offer toilet facilities and a small take away menu.
We have produced a comprehensive guide for our staff and site managers, along with a covid risk assessment. Below you will find some insight into the preparations we have made to ensure safety, and to let you know of the measures we have put into place that you can expect on your visit. The full document is available on request.
We are truly grateful to our members and visitors for being patient with us during the lockdown and for following the North Norfolk Coast’s ‘enjoy, respect, protect’ plea. will continue to review the situation in light of any Government updates.
At our other visitor centre nature reserves
The visitor centre at Hickling Broad
reopened on Monday 13 July and welcomed visitors keen to spot Norfolk’s beautiful butterfly, the swallowtail, which is only found in the Broads National Park. The nature reserve here has been open for several weeks, with a one-way path system proving successful. The popular boat trail is not running but is under review as to when it can resume. NWT’s centre at Holme Dunes
on the northwest corner of Norfolk has also reopened, although hides and their access routes remain closed.
NWT’s visitor centres and takeaway café service will be open 10am till 4pm every day. Car park charges are operating at Holme Dunes and will resume at Cley Beach car park from Saturday 18 July. With limited access on to Cley Marshes nature reserve as the hides and boardwalk are closed, there is currently no entry fee.
The visitor centre at Weeting Heath
, which normally opens March until August, and provides access to two viewing hides, will not reopen this year. This reserve is home to the enigmatic stone curlews – ground nesting birds known as Norfolk Plovers – which people have been able to enjoy watching via webcams on the NWT website.
NWT is also not currently able to reopen the floating Broads Wildlife Centre at Ranworth Broad
, because the boardwalk does not allow for adequate social distancing. From here a webcam is broadcasting live footage of the nesting terns on a new platform on the broad.