Panoramic view of The Broads National Park

Can you spot the elusive otter?

Where to spot otters in East Anglia...

Ranworth Church Tower

Sleek and magnificent, the otter is one of the UK’s most special mammals. Unfortunately, due to its largely nocturnal, secretive nature they are also very hard to catch up with. Ranworth Broad offers a chance, as otters are regularly seen at the site.

Ranworth Broad, The Broads National Park

Ranworth Broad, Norfolk

At Ranworth Broad the floating Broads Wildlife Centre is reached by a boardwalk and has a panoramic vista across the water.

From here, good numbers of wildfowl – wigeon, gadwall, teal, shoveler and pochard – can be watched in the winter. Great crested grebes are present all year, though much more elegant in their summer plumage, and kingfishers occasionally zip across the water. Hundreds of cormorants roost in skeletal, dead trees, with marsh harriers passing overhead. Common terns nest in front of the Centre.

The boardwalk passes through excellent woodland and reedbed habitats; a number of interesting plants are present, as well as common woodland birds. The explosive song of the Cetti’s warbler can often be heard, though these brown skulkers are much harder to see. Swallowtails are present, as well as Norfolk hawkers and other dragonflies.

Otter facts!

Spot an Otter in East Anglia

Otters are superb swimmers and divers. For swimming fast, perhaps to catch a fish, they sway their whole body from side to side to propel them through the water.

Otters mostly eat fish, frogs, water birds, small mammals and crustaceans, such as crayfish. They have to eat 1-1.5kg of food each day.

Most otters in Britain breed in spring. The mother carries her young for nine weeks before giving birth to two or three cubs. The cubs are blind until four or five weeks old, but by 10 weeks are able to swim.

Each otter will mark out its own territory along a large stretch of water (20-40km) with vegetation for cover, and plenty of fish to eat. Along this range, the otter will make several homes in the river bank in special dens known as ‘holts’.

Why not also become a nature explorer at Ranworth Broad?

Become a nature explorer in East Anglia

With so much coast and countryside in East Anglia, it is the perfect place to explore nature!

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