A firm favourite with families and wildlife enthusiasts alike, RSPB Strumpshaw Fen nestled in the broads and part of the Mid-Yare National Nature Reserve has an array of fascinating wildlife and plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Walk around the reedbeds, woodlands and meadows, look out for shy wetland species including the resident bitterns and bearded tits, or the distinctive blue flash of a kingfisher hunting. If you're really lucky you may see otters hunting in the many pools and rivers and Chinese water deer walking around during dusk. 

Photo: Wikipedia commons

There are two circular walks, which can be combined to make a longer circuit route:

1. The Fen trail - 2.3 miles (3.7 km)

2. The Woodland trail - 1.6 miles (2.6 km)

3. Circuit trail - 3 miles (4.8 km)

There are three hides along the fen offering spectacular views of the reedbeds, housing many different duck species during the winter, including teals, gadwalls and shovelers. There is also a wheelchair-accessible viewing point at the main entrance, where one particular kingfisher can be spotted quite regularly. The start of winter has seen hundreds to thousands of starlings roosting in the reeds which has attracted predators including marsh harriers and the rare hen harrier.

Photo: Ben Andrew

RSPB Strumpshaw Fen has teamed up with Sport England to create Active in Nature, encouraging outdoor sporting activities in nature reserves. There are currently a range of Nordic walks that you can sign up to. There are also a range of guided walks for birdwatching beginners and experienced alike. Many sections of the nature trails can get wet and muddy during the winter so wear suitable footwear!

Please note that visiting Strumpshaw Fen requires crossing a railway line at the entrance. Please watch children and look carefully to ensure no trains are coming. Feel free to use the phone to check with the signal operator that no trains are coming if you have a large group or mobility difficulties.

If you're looking for more winter walks in the Norfolk broads, then perhaps visit nearby RSPB Buckenham Marshes or try Norfolk Broads Direct for more ideas.