Thorpe Marshes, photo by Richard Osbourne 1/3
Thorpe Marshes, photo by Richard Osbourne 2/3
Thorpe Marshes, photo by Richard Osbourne 3/3

Thorpe Marshes

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.


Take a WildWalk here today!

Norfolk Wildlife Trust is really interested to hear about the wildlife you have seen at Thorpe Marshes nature reserve. To submit your wildlife sightings online please visit The more times in a year you walk the reserve and submit your wildlife sightings the better. Your records will help us build a picture of where wildlife is found and how nature changes.

Water Vole

These attractive small mammals are always a delight to see, though they can be very difficult to spot. They often sit among cover on the banks of dykes while chewing on a stem, plopping into the water with a splash when disturbed. Look for their burrows along dyke-sides – these are often easier to find than the animals themselves.
  Flood warning
Flood warning in place for the River Yare means footpaths on the reserve may be flooded or inaccessible



Post code
Map reference
OS Landranger 134
Grid reference
TG 267083
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