As its National Wildlife Day I wanted to share one of my favourite family friendly locations in Norfolk where you can take your children to see and get close to wildlife.
I am truely blessed to have the Gemerations Photography Studio only a 5 minute drive away from RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. When I'm not behind the camera as a children's and family portrait photographer, I love to visit here for a walk, as it offers fresh air, stunning surroundings and of course an abundance of wildlife.
This site has a wide variety of habitats for wildlife, you can walk in the woods, walk beside the river and reedbeds, also in summer you can walk across the meadow. There are also hides you can sit in and see the shyer wildlife, this is a great opportunity to see Marsh Harriers and Kingfishers up close. My favourite trail is the Woodland Trail which is 1.8km. Its a great place to see the changing seasons and plants including snowdrops, bluebells and fungi.
The great thing about Strumpshaw Fen is that they have lots of fun learning opportunities specially designed for children, to get them interested in wildlife and nature from an early age. They also do themed activities and trails at different times of the year e.g. Halloween and Christmas.
On the Woodland Trail in the trees there is an Outpost area where children can build their own dens. The woodland is a wonderful space full of wildlife (I have seen lots of bird species here including Robins, Jackdaws, Pheasants, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Blackbirds, Woodpecker, Great Tit and Blue Tits), along with mammals such as Muntjac Deers, Chinese Water Deers, Squirrel and Rabbits, and there are lots of insects such as butterflies, and its a well known spot to see the rare Swallowtail Butterfly.
There are several areas at Strumpshaw Fen which have been designed for mini beast hunting which is a great activity for children to get close to bugs . You can buy various Bug Hunting Kits online, which can be used to get your child fully hands on with the activity. Children can also do pond dipping at two different locations, which again is a great hands on activity to see wildlife. You can even pay to hire a Pond Dipping Kit from the visitor centre when it is open. There is also a full Wildlife Explorer Backpack Kit which you can hire as a family from there too.
On arrival at the reserve there is a wonderful bird feeding station, where if you sit and wait it does not take long for the birds to appear, and it's a great spot to do a bird watch with your child and help them to start recognising different bird species.
There are a variety of beautiful different landscapes to explore at the reserve, and there are lots of picnic benches suitably placed to take in the views. You could certainly make a day of exploring this wonderful place with your child or children.
The address is RSPB Strumpshaw Fen, Low Road, Strumpshaw, Norwich NR13 4HS.
There is a monthly or yearly membership fee to become an RSPB Member, there is a Family Membership option and it gives you access to a wide range of wonderful RSPB reserves. Membership is a fully worthwhile to do as it gives you access to a wide variety of different habitats and wildlife. Its also perfect if you go on holiday in the UK as you can spend time visiting the different reserves in other parts of the UK as well.
You can find out more about joining here
To find RSPB Reserve in your local area click here
Some of my other favourite RSPB reserves are: RSPB Minsmere and RSPB Lakenheath Fen.
If your looking for more beautiful outdoor locations to visit in Norfolk with your children to see more wildlife head over to some of my other Blogs
I hope this blog has given you inspiration for somewhere new to visit with your child or children. I’m always looking for new places to visit, in Norfolk and Suffolk so feel free to share your favourite places below.