Today's featured article

Looking north across the reserve

Cley Marshes is a nature reserve on the North Sea coast of England just outside the village of Cley next the Sea, Norfolk. A reserve since 1926, it is the oldest of the reserves belonging to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Cley Marshes protects an area of reed beds, freshwater marsh, pools and wet meadows, and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the large flocks of birds it attracts. The reserve is important for some scarce breeding species, such as pied avocets on the islands, and western marsh harriers, Eurasian bitterns and bearded reedlings in the reeds, and is a major migration stopoff and wintering site. There are also several nationally or locally scarce invertebrates and plants specialised for this coastal habitat. The reserve has an environmentally friendly visitor centre and five bird hides, and attracts large numbers of visitors, contributing significantly to the economy of Cley village. Despite centuries of embanking to reclaim land and protect the village, the marshes have been flooded many times; the southward march of the coastal shingle bank and encroachment by the sea make it inevitable that the reserve will eventually be lost. (Full article...)

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