OS Landranger 156

Grid reference
TM 470770


44.2 hectares (110.5 acres)

Natura 2000

At lay-by on A1095 and
the main car park at
reserve sign

Local facilities
Reydon, Southwold

Walking conditions
Good. Wet in wood
– path recommended

On leads only –
sorry no dogs in hide

Best time to visit
April, May

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Hen Reedbed

“A rich mosaic of wonderful wetland habitat and a real
treat for anyone interested in birds.”

Hen Reedbed is a blend of reedbeds, fens, dykes and pools created in 1999 to provide new breeding habitat for bittern and other wildlife. In summer look out for marsh harrier, heron, bearded tit and even hobby hunting over the reeds and dykes. Reed and sedge warblers sing to their hearts’ content alongside clouds of iridescent damselfly and nimble dragonfly such as the four-spot chaser and hairy dragonfly. Far more secretive are the otter and water vole which also live here.

For the best views of the largest mere follow the way-marked trail through the reedbed to the viewing platform at Wolsey Creek Marshes. Here the pools are good places to spot wildfowl such as gadwall, tufted duck and teal. At low tide scan the mudflats behind you for feeding waders – redshank, avocet and sandpiper are all regulars.

A lay-by on the A1095 gives access to Norman Gwatkin Marshes, the oldest part of the reserve. The hide at the end of the path overlooks grazing marsh, which is part of Henham Estate. In summer look along the reed-fringed dykes for reed warbler, marsh harrier and heron – the heronry is one of the largest in Suffolk. Rich pickings around the dykes encourage otter, water vole and the graceful grass snake.

The damp woodland is dominated by sallow, osier and alder and is good for fungi, fern and wetland plants like skull-cap and lesser water-parsnip.

Other Trust reserves nearby: Reydon Wood, Wenhaston Commons

marsh harrier
Marsh harrier are usually seen flying low over the reedbed

Marsh harrier
Bearded tit
Water vole

Care for our konik herd at Hen reedbeds



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