Blakeney Salt Marsh Pools

discover the salt marshes of north norfolk

North Norfolk is well known for its unique landscape of mudflats and saltmarshes. Norfolk’s mudflats are largely concentrated in the Wash and saltmarshes are found along the north coast of the county between Holme and Salthouse. These areas are not only known for their breathtaking beauty but also for a place to see some of the best wildlife. Throughout the year, the scenery transforms and there is always something new to enjoy, from migrating birds to an array of plant life. Here are some of the best places to go to enjoy this landscape.
Stiffkey Marshes. With never-ending horizons and an open expanse of pristine saltmarsh, Stiffkey Saltmarshes form part of Blakeney National Nature Reserve. The twisting muddy creeks, are flooded daily by the tide and are a perfect haven for wildlife, designating the marshes as a conservation area of international importance for breeding birds. The Norfolk Coast Path circumvents the saltmarsh towards Blakeney to the east or to Wells-Next-The-Sea to the west, offering amazing walks with breath-taking views and bird sightings.
Stiffkey Marshes

Burnham Overy Staithe. Burnham Overy Staithe lies between Holkham and Burnham Norton on the north Norfolk coast. 'Staithe' traditionally means 'landing place', and 'overy' means 'over the water'. A mile of so inland, the original settlement was Burnham Overy Town which was once a busy port situated on the River Burn. Burnham Overy Staithe has only been in existence since WW2. Walk out along the Norfolk Coast Path, over the marshes and towards the dunes. As you approach the sea, the River Burn spreads out into numerous tidal creeks, which wind their way through the saltmarshes. From the harbour, there is the opportunity to catch a boat trip to Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve.

THE BURNHAMS

Burnham Overy Staithe Marshes

NWT Cley Marshes. Cley Marshes is one of the oldest nature reserves in the country and has provided a blue print for nature conservation. At Cley Marshes, explore both coastal and wetland habitats along the shingle beach, saline lagoons, grazing marshes and reed beds. This landscape forms the habitat of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bitterns, marsh harriers and bearded tits. There is also a visitors’ centre.

NWT CLEY MARSHES

NWT Salthouse Marshes. Salthouse Marshes consists of small pools and extensive grazing marsh offering fanatastically close views of waders and wildfowl. In Winter, the area comes alive with wintering snow buntings and occasionally rarer lapland buntings and shore lark. Barn owls are a regular feature, seen hunting over the marshes, as well as marsh harriers. The site is a good location from which to look for seabirds, and the small, isolated clumps of bushes can be good in spring and autumn for tired migrants.
Salthouse Marshes

RSPB Titchwell. On the north coast of Norfolk, between the villages of Titchwell and Thornham, you will find Titchwell Marsh which is home to diverse habitats. A walk from the visitor centre takes you past reed beds and shallow lagoons, where you can spot up to 20 species of marsh harriers, gulls, avocets, terns as well as wading birds in Winter.

RSPB TITCHWELL

RSPB Titchwell

Holkham Nature Reserve. The saltmarsh formed when, sheltered from the pull of the tides, sediment from the sea built up into a skim of mud and silt, evolving over the years into saltmarsh. In the warmer summer months, the lower mudflats dry out and are frosted by salt crystals where you will find Glasswort and Annual Seablite. The diverse middle and upper levels of Holkham’s saltmarshes are home to Sea Aster and Sea Lavender which forms a misty-blue haze around creeks. This area forms the first shelter for weather-blown migrant birds arriving on the coast and in the breeding season these marshes are full of the call of the Redshank, which nests in tussocks and feeds in the creeks and muddy saltpans. In the Winter the marshes are grazed by Brent Geese, Shelduck and waders. Against the evening sunshine the shimmering herds of grazing wildfowl and the wide horizon of the saltmarshes create one of the finest wildlife sights of Europe.

HOLKHAM NATURE RESERVE

Salt Marshes at Holkham Nature Reserve