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Minsmere

Such is the diversity of the Suffolk landscape; it proves to be a great habitat for a wonderful range of wild life. In particular the coast line is home to various birdwatching hotspots.

Minsmere is the RSPB’s largest and most famous nature reserve. It attracts thousands of visitors every year, not just avid birdwatchers, but people who simply enjoy walking the nature trails and taking in the wonderful scenery. Minsmere has been a RSPB reserve for over fifty years and pioneered the use of observation hides to enable the visitors to see the huge range of birds that pass along the Suffolk coast throughout the year.

The range of walks and trails are vast and spread across woodland, heath, dunes and the beach. A special area of the beach is cordoned off to protect nesting birds. During the spring/summer you can expect to see avocets, marsh harriers and the booming bittern amongst many others. In the autumn/winter many wading birds and waterfowl visit the reserve including black-tailed godwits, wigeons, teals and many unusual ducks, swans and geese. The migration seasons are spring and autumn and can prove to be an interesting time to visit the reserve.

For those new or with little experience of birdwatching, there is an extensive programme of guided walks, also guides and volunteers are on hand at various times to offer help to visitors. At the visitor centre informative staff can help you plan your visit and for a small deposit you can borrow a wildlife explorer back that includes binoculars, identification charts and much more.

At the visitors centre there is also a shop selling everything from scopes and binoculars to a whole range of books and souvenirs, plus a tea room where you can enjoy a bite to eat or quench your thirst before or after your walking experience.

Positioned on the coast, the reserve is open daily during day light hours and is just fifteen minutes drive from the Sibton White Horse. Everybody is welcome, admission is as follows: adults £5.00, concessions £3.00, children £1.50, family £10 or free if you are a RSPB member

Further nearby nature walks and birdwatching areas can be found at Dunwich Heath, Orford Ness, Westleton Heath, Walberswick beach and the Blyth estuary.

For more information on nature trails and birdwatching follow the links below:

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/m/minsmere/index.aspx
www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-global/w-localtoyou/w-eastengland.htm