Walberswick National Nature Reserve
Walberswick Nature Reserve is one of three National Nature Reserves managed by English Nature. The Reserve is one of the most diverse sites in the UK with internationally important and unique groupings of habitation in a small area.
The Reserve is made up of some of the best remaining areas of Sandlings heathland, together with reed beds at Westwood Marshes (omne of the largest in the UK), grassland, woodlands, shingle, saline lagoos and mudflats and the salt marshes of the Blyth estuary, which is tidal.
Fortunately there is a well marked path through the reserve which enables you to see the Reserve at its best. You can walk from Dunwich
(and vice versa!) Look out for the blue and yellow Suffolk Coast Path way-marker discs).
The area is still used for sourcing reed for thatch. This source of income
helps to manage the water level in the reed bed for rare wildlife. The reserve is internationaly important for its enormous varitety of birdlife including March Harrier, Bearded Tit, Water Rail and Bittern. Unfortunately during the winter it's not unknown for the sea to break through the shingle bank and flood the freshwater marshes, with potentially disastrous consequences for the wildlife that depends on the area. It may be impossible to protect these important coastal marshlands from the sea, and the search is already on for new sites to replace what may be lost.
In the marshes there is a disused windpump. This is a relic of the time when these marshes were drained and farmed.
There are plenty of places to get refreshments in Dunwich
village - once the largest medieval town in East Anglia before coastal erosion took hold and much of it was lost to the sea. One of these is The Ship, Dunwich
which offers accommodation as well as fantastic food and local ales.
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