NWT Cley Marshes is Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best known nature reserve. It was purchased in 1926 to be held ‘in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary’. It provided a blue print for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK. The water levels in the pools and reedbeds are regulated to ensure they are ideal for the resident birds, and reed is harvested every year to keep the reedbeds in good condition.
The shingle beach and saline lagoons, along with the grazing marsh and reedbed support large numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bittern, marsh harrier and bearded tit.
A new eco-friendly visitor centre opened in 2007 containing a café, shop, and viewing areas (including viewing from a camera on the reserve). We have since added to this with the fantastic Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre, a courtyard and viewing deck. The view from the visitor centre across the Marsh to the sea is breathtaking.
Our new education centre has been designed for visitors to discover and be inspired by wildlife and includes:
- Films, touchscreens and displays
- Events for all ages and abilities
- Adult learning workshops
- Evening talks and performances
The Aspinall Centre can also be booked for business meetings and community use. The centre is named in memory of naturalist, Simon Aspinall (1958 – 2011) in recognition of his contribution to ornithology and nature conservation, both in the UK and abroad.
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