Upstream of Acle on the floodplain of the River Bure, Upton Broad and Marshes is one of NWT’s best-kept secrets.
The reserve is a tranquil haven in the heart of the Broads, home to some of Norfolk’s rarest wildlife: from iconic swallowtail butterflies and Norfolk hawker dragonflies, to otters and water voles, and a staggering array of wetland plants.
The site’s impressive mix of habitat – alder carr woodland, fen, reedbed, and grazing marsh – supports ten nationally scarce or rare plant species including fen orchid, marsh fern, marsh pea, cowbane and fen pondweed.
A mixture of birdlife is found on the reserve from woodland species in the alder carr, to waders such as lapwing and redshank on the grazing marshes. The majestic marsh harrier is a common sight as it drifts across the reedbeds in summer, and barn owls can regularly be seen hunting.
However, Upton’s number and variety of dragonflies is perhaps its most impressive attraction, with over 20 species occurring. Its specialities include the Norfolk hawker, four-spotted chaser, hairy dragonfly, variable damselfly and red-eyed damselfly. 22 species of butterfly have also been recorded.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust has been working hard to protect this unique site, with a number of recent land acquisitions which have increased the area managed for wildlife. Large areas of arable land (which were drained for farming in the 1970s) have already been restored to marshland. Upton now sits proudly at the heart of NWT’s ongoing Bure Valley Living Landscape.
EDP Editor Emeritus and Travel Writer, Nigel Pickover visits Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Upton Broad and Marshes
Take a WildWalk here today!
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is really interested to hear about the wildlife you have seen at Upton Broad and Marshes nature reserve. To submit your wildlife sightings online please visit www.nbis.org.uk/wildwalks
. 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.