Part of the Bure and Thurne Living Landscape, Martham Broad is a fantastic place to visit, with a wide variety of wildlife.
The site actually comprises two shallow Broads bisected by the navigable River Thurne, as well as surrounding fen, reedbed and marsh. The reserve holds many species of breeding birds including bittern, bearded tit, common tern, Cetti’s warbler and marsh harrier.
Chinese water deer
Stately common crane use the reserve and can often be seen flying over. Good numbers of wintering ducks and geese frequent the Broad and surrounding fields. Hen harrier and merlin are also possible in the winter months, and barn owl are often seen.
The site is also excellent for swallowtails and many other invertebrates in summer, including Norfolk hawker.
Several bat species occur. Otters are present and Chinese water deer are relatively easily observed.
Please do not park in Staithe Road which is used by large, wide farm vehicles and delivery lorries
Martham Broad is a good place to spot Chinese water deer, particularly in the early morning or evening when they emerge from cover to graze in the surrounding fields. As its name
suggests this unusual deer is not a native UK species, having been introduced
from China in the nineteenth century. It favours wet, marshy habitat and is a strong swimmer when it needs to.
NWT Martham Broad lies close to the coast, 2.4km (1.5 miles) from Martham and 2.9km (1.8 miles) from Winterton- on-Sea. Access is from the B1159 in West Somerton village. The entrance to the nature reserve is via Somerton Staithe. Public footpaths (often muddy) skirt either side of the Broad; a circular walk is not possible.