Blogger: Kate Blincoe, Communications Manager

Here is my confession. I work for the RSPB yet I have not been to a nature reserve in my leisure time for over three years.

Let me clarify a few things: I have not lost my passion for enjoying wildlife in stunning locations. I have not had a bad accident involving binoculars. I have not lost my love of walking in incredible habitats and meeting inspirational people.

I used to visit nature reserves at least twice a month. What has happened? I became a mother, that’s what. Suddenly, life became structured around nap times and feeds. Going to the toilet alone became a luxury. Long days spent outside, away from it all, not caring if rain was forecast simply stopped being possible. My little people have incompatible needs; nappy changing stations, places to play, shelter and make noise and family friendly food to name just a few.

We found ourselves visiting more predictable family sites, such as Country Parks, to get our outdoors fix. Yet I remain unfulfilled. There is no substitute for the views of wildlife you can have at nature reserves and the amount you can discover about your world. I may be biased, but the RSPB knows how to provide memorable, life changing encounters with nature.

This past weekend, though, I had a smile on my face and the nappy bag was packed. RSPB Minsmere nature reserve on the glorious Suffolk coast has just opened its new family facilities.  For us Norfolk dwellers, it is a short journey to experience the best of our Suffolk’s coastline and now you can take the whole family without having to think twice.

The new Wild Zone at Minsmere provides a safe, interactive place for children to explore and learn. This is a place of possibilities and adventure: Will you find your way through the migration maze? What is it like in the child size tunnels inspired by the burrows of sand martins?

You’ll also have a great time in the Wild Wood adventure, finding minibeasts and building dens then heading to the Wildlife Lookout to see what you can see. Then it’s time for lunch in the café, sampling the local produce. And if you’re not all tired out, maybe you’ll make it to the beach for a paddle.

The facilities are also perfect for school groups – and the benefits of learning outside the classroom are well known. Just check out our website for more information

I’m looking forward to more of my wild family adventures in the future. Hope to see you there!

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of our funders the Heritage Lottery Fund, the EU’s Interreg IV A 2Seas programme and others.