Norfolk Wildlife Trust and RSPB Reserves
Situated in the heart of the beautiful Norfolk countryside, Barn Owl, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Kestrel, and Wren (known collectively as Boundary Stables) are wheelchair accessible, with facilities for visitors with limited mobility.
Many of our guests return year after year to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Norfolk countryside. Much of the Norfolk coast lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and several areas are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Norfolk is generally considered to be the UK’s bird-watching capital.
With extensive diversity in natural habitat, the Norfolk countryside supports a wide range of flora and fauna. Blakeney Freshes, for example, is a haven for the endangered European eel, a fish that migrates to Europe from the Sargasso Sea, and then begins the long journey back again when it reaches sexual maturity. The pied avocet, a bird that was at one time extinct in the UK, thrives in Norfolk more than anywhere else in Britain.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) – “where the future of wildlife is protected and enhanced through sympathetic management” – was the pioneer of UK wildlife trusts. Founded in 1926 by a group of environmentalists with ideas ahead of their time, the NWT’s first reserve was Cley Marshes, with the intention that it would be held “in perpetuality as a bird breeding sanctuary”.
The Cley Marshes reserve (NR25 7SA), consisting of grazing marsh, saline lagoons, shingle beach, and reedbeds, supports large numbers of migrating waders, including the pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) – emblem of the RSPB and symbol of conservation success. Cley Marshes, a designated SSSI, is one of the best places in the country to see this black-and-white beauty.
NWT’s Hickling Broad is less than seven miles from Happisburgh. Hickling Broad is a shallow, brackish body of water, whose large reed-bed supports a wide range of flora. The marsh harrier and the bittern can be seen all year round at Hickling Broad.
Please note that when visiting a Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve, the NWT’s No Dogs policy means that dogs are restricted to certain areas and footpaths.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) was founded in 1889 as the Plumage League. The main focus of this group was a campaign against the slaughter of birds for their feathers. The society, which became the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1904.
RSPB Strumpshaw Fen (NR13 4HS) is only about 20 miles from Happisburgh. Disabled access is limited, but full details are given on the website. At Strumpshaw, visitors have a good chance of spotting marsh harriers, bitterns, and kingfishers.
RSBP Snettisham (PE31 7RA), an area of tidal mudflats, saltmarsh, and shingle beach, is home to thousands of wading birds. Although not all of the trails are suitable for visitors with limited mobility, several of the observation hides are specially adapted for wheelchair users. Well-behaved dogs, on leads, are welcome.
In the reedbeds, saltmarsh, and freshwater lagoons of RSPB Titchwell Marsh (PE31 8BB), you’re sure to see the avocet. Much of Titchwell Marsh is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs; disabled toilets and baby-changing facilities are available.
At Boundary Stables, we welcome dogs and other pets at no extra charge.