• Minsmere's Wildlife Explorers descend on Havergate

    Every month a group of young Wildlife Explorers meet at RSPB Minsmere for a morning of fun and wildlife watching. Their programme is varied, ranging this year from learning about Aldeburgh's swifts to felting. Last Saturday they had the chance to something completely different: a visit to Havergate Island. As both a parent and assistant leader, I was lucky enough to join them for my first visit to the island for a…

    • 24 Sep 2019
  • A trip for everyone!

    We have been very busy on Havergate Island recently running plenty of visitor trips of all different styles to cater to everyone!

    We had a very successful weekend with the Havergate Adventure despite boat troubles and wild weather. Everyone enjoyed themselves on this more family orientated event.

    We then run a fantastic ‘capturing first light on Havergate’ trip and were extremely lucky with the weather and conditions…

    • 4 Sep 2019
  • Havergate Adventure

    This is the perfect time of year to explore our wild isle (the only island in Suffolk), and our special Havergate Adventure, taking place next week, will help you get the most out of your visit, whatever your age or interests.  Whether you want to learn more about the island’s wildlife, or just enjoy the charm and serenity of this special place, the knowledgeable RSPB Woodbridge Local Group members will treat you to a two…

    • 1 Aug 2019
  • Celebrating 70 years on Havergate!

    Can you believe that this July will be 70 years since the RSPB signed the deeds to Havergate Island. To celebrate this, we are running a special ‘history’ of Havergate guided walk. Myself and our Havergate volunteers have spent the last year hunting and researching for any information on the island and I think we have done quite well, the story has been pulled together beautifully.

    The day involves 2 trips…

    • 26 Jun 2019
  • Birds, spiders, caterpillars and volunteers

    The last couple of months have been super busy ones on Havergate Island. It is all go on the Breeding bird surveys with full island gull counts going on, as well as keeping an eye on the smaller breeding birds. The gull numbers are steady – probably even slightly up on previous years. We counted 1665 Lesser Black backs sitting and 521 Herring Gulls.  Early on in the season gull numbers were fairly low, and it didn…

    • 12 Jun 2019
  • Wildlife River Trip - When is the Common Uncommon?

    Havergate’s volunteer guide Steve was captain of our first wildlife river trip of the season.  The trip run on a chilly 26 April and the visitors enjoyed a boat trip around Havergate Island before landing for a little time to take a look out onto the lagoons.

    It certainly looks like the highlight of the trip was the sighting of 2 curious seals! If you want to take a look at Steve’s blog and see some cracking photos…

    • 1 May 2019
  • Havergate Island blog – March 22-29 2019

    How quickly the year goes.....before we know it, residential volunteer Mike is back out on the island and getting straight back into the swing of island life.  As usual I have a list of jobs ready for him to have a look at work through at his own pace. Being an island and prone to the worst of the weather here on the east coast,  the place can start to look shabby very quickly, especially after the winter. This year we had…

    • 5 Apr 2019
  • Wildlife River Trip

    If you are looking for a trip that gives you the chance to take in the river Ore, learn a bit about the river and its surroundings but also give you a taster of Havergate Island then join us on one of our Wildlife River Trips on the Alde-Ore. On this trip you will enjoy a relaxing cruise around Havergate  with the added treat of landing on the island for a 40 minute stop to look out onto our main lagoon. 


    Whilst heading…

    • 11 Mar 2019
  • Spring Awakening

    We still have spaces available on our ‘through the seasons’ trips running on the 10 and 23 March. March is one of the best times to visit Havergate Island – it is when the large numbers of birds gather before they move onto their breeding locations and our brown hares are at their most active. These trips are the perfect opportunity to be taken to the favourite ‘hare haunts’ to spend some time with the hares…

    • 4 Mar 2019
  • Is it too early for spring??

    After the drama of the tidal surge last month I can report that the island has drained and is back to its former spectacular self. I headed out there on Saturday for a very chilly day with the first visitor trip of the year. The visitors who braved the freezing cold were rewarded with lagoons packed full of birds, marsh harriers (before we even got of the boat), barn owls and hares.

    As soon as we landed on the Jetty we…

    • 4 Feb 2019
  • How to start the new year!

    Last week I decided to head straight out to Havergate on my first day back after Christmas break.  It certainly blew the cobwebs away and helped me get into a good state of mind for the new year. It was a wonderful day, cold but sunny, and the lagoons were heaving with birds. I didn’t do a full count but there were high numbers of duck and waders including, Dunlin, Redshank, Godwit and Grey plovers, wigeon and teal. I…

    • 9 Jan 2019
  • New year, new events on Havergate

    We have decided to change things around a bit in 2019 with a brand new events calendar.

    We will still be offering the normal first Saturday of the month ‘Explore Havergate Island’  trip (except May, June and July when the island is closed). This trip is a Non Guided trip where you are free to explore the hides and trails at your own pace. A guide will be present on the island should you prefer to stay with…

    • 14 Dec 2018
  • Team Work

    We have completed laying and fixing the rock fall netting on the new spillway! Thank you to all that helped-it is amazing what you can achieve with team work. In total it took us about 7 days over a 5 week period. So, after 3 months with 2 excavators, a tractor, 300 rolls of rockfall netting and 2300 pegs to fix it down. We have finished the project and Havergate can get back to its normal and peaceful self.


    • 12 Dec 2018
  • Natural Flood Management

    Its been a long slog, starting mid-September up until now but has been well worth it to 1) help protect the island against further damage from tidal surges by creating the lowered spillway and 2) to create an even better and new main lagoon that should encourage more birds to use the islands throughout the year and also make them easier to see from the hides. The photos below show off the amazing work done and the volunteer…

    • 3 Dec 2018
  • A busy couple of months.

    We are now coming to the end of the Havergate Island Surge and Climate change adaptation project, and what a busy couple of months it has been!  After the wall lowering was completed the diggers moved onto the lagoons to re-shape the existing small islands, create new ones and generally improve and enhance Main lagoon. They have been working really hard and it is amazing the difference we can see already! We have been…

    • 13 Nov 2018
  • A busy couple of months.

    We are now coming to the end of the Havergate Island Surge and Climate change adaptation project, and what a busy couple of months it has been!  After the wall lowering was completed the diggers moved onto the lagoons to re-shape the existing small islands, create new ones and generally improve and enhance Main lagoon. They have been working really hard and it is amazing the difference we can see already! We have been…

    • 13 Nov 2018
  • Guest blog by Mike - September

    Now the secret is out I would like to say a huge congratulations to our very own Mike Matthewson. Mike was successfully nominated for the presidents award (which he collected over the weekend) for the time  he has given to the RSPB. The prestigious RSPB presidents award recognises significant volunteer contribution to nature conservation and to the work of the RSPB.

    Mike is an outstanding example of an RSPB short term…

    • 24 Oct 2018
  • Havergate's wall lowering project - end of week 2

    It has been nearly 2 weeks since we started the wall lowering project (see last blog here https://bit.ly/2EiWApE) on Havergate and I can happily report that the diggers have so far been doing a great job. The wall has turned out to be a total of 600m in length, so a little shorter than anticipated, however this will not have any effect on the overall efficiency of the spillway.

    Once the diggers have finished work on…

    • 12 Oct 2018
  • Havergate's wall lowering project

    We have finally reached the moment in time where we have started our highly anticipated wall lowering project on Havergate Island.

    For those of you that do not know what we are planning to do, here is a very quick summery.

    We are now starting to witness the impact of more regular storms on the island combined with higher tides. We are finding that the banks around the island are eroding more noticeably, paths are…

    • 24 Sep 2018
  • Visit Havergate 2018

    Wow, what a weekend on the island. The migrants have really started to drop in recently. Our top counts over the weekend were bartailed godwit, greenshank, 21 grey plover, 33 ringed plover, 2 whimbrel, 4 turnstone, 11 common sandpiper, 14 spoonbill, 4 knot, 235 avocet, 45 oyster catcher, juvenile ruff, sanderling, 65 blacktailed godwits, 330 redshank, 140 dunlin, little stint, , 2 juvenile little ringed plover (good for…

    • 15 Aug 2018
  • Havergate Adventure 2018

    If you had read our previous blog post - Havergate Island Blog – June 29 – July 20 2018 written by our residential volunteer Mike, then he just may have inspired you to visit Havergate Island to see if you can see any of the amazing wildlife that he was lucky enough to have seen on his visit.

    This is the perfect time of year to explore our wild isle (the only island in Suffolk), and our special Havergate…

    • 30 Jul 2018
  • Guest Blog - Havergate Island, June 29 – July 20 2018

    Mike, our regular residential volunteer on Havergate, has kindly written a guest blog documenting his 3 weeks on the island. Mike does a fantastic job of monitoring and maintaining the island for the 3 weeks he is out there. Thanks Mike!

    Havergate Island Blog – June 29 – July 20 2018

    I thought that I had written a blog when I was on Havergate from 23 – 30 March, so I checked, but I hadn’t. So this one is…

    • 30 Jul 2018
  • Spoonbill Surprise

    We are now fast approaching our Summer Events, the first being the Spoonbill Surprise weekend on the 28 & 29 July. Well, I certainly had my very own Spoonbill Surprise when I was heading to the island yesterday. Heading down the river on the boat I spotted a Spoonbill feeding in the shallow water on the edge of the island. We normally see them loafing on the lagoons so it was great to see this one out in the open and…

    • 19 Jul 2018
  • Visit Havergate

    Have I ever mentioned that Havergate lays claim to being Suffolk’s only island?! It boasts a colourful history which spans centuries and attracts visitors - both avian and human - to its shingle shores each season. Havergate Island is such an important, magical and isolated reserve and many species rely heavily on the island and its rich ecosystem to survive and thrive. Havergate is not only home to some great birdlife…

    • 6 Jul 2018
  • June Update

    Forgive the lack of updates on the blog of recent times. This is mostly due to the last couple of months being amongst our busiest times of the year for our breeding birds.

    Although the island has been closed to visitors, that does not mean that time has stood still! plenty has been happening. Havergate has been awash with life and has come alive and green over the spring.

    We have been busy keeping tabs on the breeding…

    • 29 Jun 2018