Close to Norwich , Strumpshaw Fen is an area definitely worth exploring. It is an RSPB reserve and has lots to see.
There are marked trails,woodland,meadow and fen with a wide variety of habitats. There is obviously plenty of open water again varied, large pools and lakes surrounded by reeds, small ditches and ponds and the river Yare runs along one side.
We went today in hope of glimpsing a swallowtail butterfly knowing it was late in the year. We were rewarded with one sighting but it was too quick to photograph. We only had the phone with us.There were plenty if other butterflies especially red admirals and painted ladies. It was sunny and they were enjoying the nectar in the buddleias.
We had a number of lovely encounters on this fenland walk . We saw a tiny lizard, the man at reception told us that on the sandy walk which was marked on the useful map we were given , on a sunny day up to sixteen lizards had been seen sunning themselves together. He recommended June for the swallowtails and mentioned that they had been all over the wild flower garden at the reserve entrance. We also enjoyed watching a perfect swan rest in a tiny watery inlet.
There are fantastic birds to be seen at this reserve and we will definitely be back with the proper kit to photograph them. We climbed up into the tower hide and watched a great egret and numerous herons on a large area of open water.
Dragonflies and damselflies were everywhere, there were some very large dragonflies , earlier in the year I’m sure there would have been huge numbers . Another reason to visit again !
Walking with the River Yare on our right it was amazing to see trees laden with apples, crab apples, hazel nuts, elderberries , rowan berries as well as blackberries and wonderful hops everywhere climbing through bushes and up trees . It was a wild larder.
A walk on the boardwalk gave us a great experience of the fen and the reeds.
This was a fascinating area to explore and one to come back to at different times of the year and equipped with a great camera .