Walberswick National Nature Reserve
English Nature manages three National Nature Reserves, including Walberswick Nature Reserve. The site is one of the most diverse in the UK, with unique and globally significant habitats in a small area.
The Sandlings Heaths, one of the UK’s finest remaining heathlands, together with woodlands, grasslands, salt marshes shingle, and mudflats at Westwood Marshes, which is a reed bed, saline lagoons, and salt marshes on the Blyth estuary are all part of the Reserve.
There is a well-marked path through the reserve, which allows you to experience the reserve at its finest. You may walk from Walberswick to Dunwich. Look for the yellow and blue Suffolk Coast Path way-marker discs to keep on track.
Reed harvesting is still occurring in the area, providing income while also preserving the water level in the reed bed in order to protect the area’s unique wildlife. The marsh is globally significant for its tremendous diversity of birdlife, including Bearded Tit, March Harrier Water Rail, and Bittern. It is unfortunate that the sea breaks through the shingle bank and floods the fresh marshes in winter, which could have devastating consequences for the wildlife that lives there. The search is already underway for sites to replace those that may be lost, given that it may be impossible to protect these important coastal marshes from the sea.
There is a defunct windpump in the marshes. The pump is an heirloom of the era when these marshes were drained for farming purposes.
There are various options if you wish to enjoy a refreshment in the area. Dunwich village was 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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