Hen Reedbed is a blend of reedbeds, fens, dykes and pools created in 1999 to provide new breeding habitat for bittern and other wildlife.
It is a rich mosaic of wonderful wetland habitat and a real treat for anyone interested inbirds.
In summer look out for marsh harrier, heron, bearded tit and even hobby hunting over the reeds and dykes. Reed and sedge warblers sing to their hearts’ content alongside clouds of iridescent damselfly and nimble dragonfly such as the four-spot chaser and hairy dragonfly. Far more secretive are the otter and water vole which also live here.
For the best views of the largest mere follow the way-marked trail through the reedbed and across the road to the viewing platform overlooking Wolsey Creek Marshes, a good place to spot wildfowl such as gadwall, tufted duck, shoveler and also little grebes. At low tide scan the mudflats behind you for feeding waders – redshank, avocet and sandpiper are all regulars. Further along Wolsey Creek are two hides overlooking smaller scrapes and islands which often give views of godwits, oystercatchers, teal, little egrets and kingfishers. When conditions underfoot are favourable, an approach to the hides along the bottom track, rather than along the top of the river wall, avoids disturbing any birds close-by.
Open at all times.
Best time to visit – March to July