Nature and Wildlife

Stretching from Lowestoft to Felixstowe, Suffolk’s 49-mile coastline is a haven for wildlife and a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Perhaps Suffolk’s most well-known spot thanks to it being home to BBC Springwatch in recent years is RSPB Minsmere, which lies between the popular coastal resorts of Southwold and Aldeburgh. This glorious 2,500 acre site has a mix of reedbeds, lowland heath, woodland, wetlands and lagoons, and as a result is graced by some of the UKs rarest species.  Highlights include avocets, bearded tits and bitterns, and you may even  spots some resident otters.

Neighbouring Minsmere is Dunwich Heath which is managed by National Trust.  Here all ages can enjoy learning about the wildlife that resides here from bugs and pond life to birds and deer.  Families can enjoy the many trails and activities put on by the National Trust.  For those seeking rare breeds, a visit to Dunwich Heath may secure you a glimpse of a Stone Curlew.  Once common in the UK, the stone curlew is now on the BTO’s amber list of ‘Birds of Conservation Concern’ but the acid grassland of Dunwich Heath is a perfect habitat for these ground-nesting birds.

Further down the Suffolk Coast is another site of importance for nature conservation, National Trust Orford Ness.  This shingle spit, accessible by boat from Orford Quay, is a creation of longshore drift and is linked to the mainland at Aldeburgh and stretches along the coast to Shingle Street.  Together with Havergate Island, Orford Ness is a designated National Nature Reserve.  The vegetated shingle habitat found here is rare and very easily damaged.  The ‘Ness’ is home to many species of mammals, butterflies and birds including Chinese water deer, hares, marsh harriers, barn owls and peregrine falcons.

But you don’t have to visit a designated nature reserve to enjoy the great outdoors in Suffolk, just pull on your walking boots, grab your binoculars and head for one of the many popular walking routes.  You can find out more about walking holidays in Suffolk here.

Protecting and preserving this glorious coastline is essential in sustaining the wildlife it welcomes and local conservationist Kate Osborne is making this fun for everyone with ‘Beach Bonkers’.  Discover the treasures of our shingle beaches on one of her enthralling beach combing walks or events.  

Another local couple doing their bit for the wildlife of Suffolk is Alan and Christine Collett, founders of Aldeburgh’s Amazing Swifts.  Their quest is to encourage the endangered Common Swift back to Aldeburgh by working with and educating the local community to install nesting boxes and raise awareness of the plight of the Common Swift. 

By booking a holiday with Suffolk Secrets you’re doing your bit to nurture the Suffolk Coast too.  Our Suffolk Secrets Fund, managed by Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB has supported local environmental projects including ‘Beach Bonkers’ and ‘Aldeburgh’s Amazing Swifts’ with funding of over £20,000 in 2017 and 2018, thanks to the £1 donations from our customers. 

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