Woodland Lodges Wildlife Norfolk
Our Woodland Lodges Wildlife Norfolk page is here to provide you with all the wildlife information surrounding our lodges that you need.
The fleeting emerald flash of a kingfisher foraging for the right perch from which to capture food for its young; or the sly glimpse of a yellow and brown striped bittern emerging from the new green reeds of a wetland area, are just two of the moments that, for more and more people, make bird-watching such a rare and special delight.
It is widely known that East Anglia is a mecca for bird watchers of all abilities providing a plethora of top quality sites. And in the middle of East Anglia, in the neat little village of Garboldisham, lie the Alderwood Lodges. They are built on a nine acre multi-award winning conservation site, providing four star luxury tourist accommodation.
The site has its own woodland walk, river and bird hide, opened in 2013 by the renowned naturalist David Bellamy.
As soon as one enters the site, the interaction with nature begins. At the hide, one sees Jays, whitethroats, blackcaps, long-tailed tits, kingfisher, hovering kestrels, grey squirrels and water voles – all of these noted in a thirty minute session one morning in early summer.
Of course, the lodges provide the ideal central point from which to explore East Anglia.
To the North, within an hour’s drive from Garboldisham we have RSPB sites at Snettisham and Titchwell, as well as the excellent Norfolk Wildlife Trust site of Cley-next-the–Sea with a great chance to see Bearded Tits. There is Blakeney Point, famous for its seals and the lesser known treasures of Sculthorpe Nature Park and Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park , the latter coming to fame through the Springwatch programme on BBC television.
To the North West of the lodges, also within the hour, we have the opportunity to see Marsh Harriers and Swallowtail butterflies at the enchanting RSPB site of Strumpshaw Fen and its sister sites of Surlingham Church and Buckenham marshes. A little further up and we can visit the Wildlife trust’s sites at Ranworth Fen and Hickling Broad at either of which one can take part in a guided birding boat trip at a nominal fee.
To the East, within the same time frame, we can visit the timeless fens of Walberswick, offering miles of nature reserve tracks and wide open skies. A little further south and we encounter probably the best RSPB bird site in the country at Minsmere, featuring as the home of Springwatch 2014 where once exotic birds like the Common Crane and the Spoonbill are regular visitors. Carrying on down the coast we arrive at the RSPB sites near Thorpeness and at Orfordness.
To see and hear nightingales, we need to travel South from Garboldisham to just north of Bury St Edmonds and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust site of Lackford Lakes. A full day is needed to see all that it has to offer within its nine hides.
Then, to the West we have the expanse that is Thetford Forest and its red squirrels. Weeting Heath is the home of the stone curlew, a Norfolk Wildlife Trust site, and the RSPB site at Lakenheath where there is a chance to see Golden Oriele. Further to the West, but worth the journey is the RSPB site of Ouse Washes. Miles of river banks dotted with hides all the way along. This complements the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust site at Welney where there are swans aplenty.
If you love birdwatching and are not averse to travelling up to an hour in the car in any direction you like, then basing yourself at the Alderwood lodges is a great idea.
We did last year…and the year before and we will be doing so next year, too!
Tony, Dianne and Norman Coulson