• New Covid 19 update, 7 January

    This information is different to our previous post saying we would remain closed, so apologies for any confusion caused. We had to work quickly to adhere to the Government guidance we received yesterday, and after discussion with relevant Government departments, the situation (as we and others across the sector understood it) was that sites where visitors usually pay for entry would have to close. However, today we have…
    • 7 Jan 2021
  • Tier 4 - what's open & what's not

    As seems to be the norm this year, no sooner do I write a blog outlining our opening arrangements then they change as government advice is updated. That was the case again this week, but due to the Christmas break I have not be able to update the news since the announcement that Suffolk, like many parts of the southeast of England, entered Tier 4 on Boxing Day.

    So, what does Tier 4 mean for opening arrangements here at…

    • 29 Dec 2020
  • Christmas cheer

    As I write, it's a dull, dreary, wet day, which I'm sure chimes with the feelings of many people as this unusual Christmas season approaches. With plans changed, and many families unable to meet with their loved ones, I hope this blog will bring some much needed cheer to our readers, especially the photos at the end.

    As a rule, little changes in terms of daily sightings during mid winter, with most of our winter…

    • 21 Dec 2020
  • Winter wildlife highlights

    It's been a glorious winter day today: clear blue skies and an absence of wind, making for the perfect conditions to enjoy a relaxing winter walk. The wildlife certainly obliged when I headed out at lunchtime, too.

    But first, some excellent news. We've already had an incredible 55000 people sign our Love Minsmere e-action, helping us to fight the potentially devastating development of Sizewell C. If you haven't yet…

    • 15 Dec 2020
  • Living at Minsmere through the autumn

    Guest blog by Matt Livesey, Minsmere Intern

    All photos by Matt Livesey

    My first autumn spent in Suffolk has been a special one. I began my role as residential conservation intern at Minsmere at the beginning of October, and living at the heart of a nature reserve really is a magical experience.

    Within my first week I saw stone-curlew and Dartford warbler, as well as the first whooper swans of the autumn briefly stopping…

    • 10 Dec 2020
  • Welcome back

    It's great to have been welcome visitors back into the shop, cafe and hides since Wednesday. We've made the visitor centre feel a bit more Christmassy, with trees in reception and the cafe. This year we've also treated the birds to their own Christmas tree: we've cut down a Corsican pine from the dunes and strung a variety of fruits, nuts and fat cakes to the branches. This tree, and the adjacent feeders, continue to…

    • 7 Dec 2020
  • Post-lockdown opening

    We’re excited to be able to re-open some of our facilities for you on  Wednesday 2 December!  

    We are in Tier 2, so here's a quick summary of what’s available at Minsmere 

    Car park open (dawn to dusk)

    Outdoor, Covid-secure, staffed Welcome Point (10 am to 4 pm) 

    Reserve trails open (dawn to dusk) 

    Hides open (dawn to dusk). Face coverings required. Maximum of six people per hide. 

    Toilets open (10 am to 4…

    • 27 Nov 2020
  • Why I love Minsmere

    Minsmere has been a huge part of my life, but I'm concerned that the Minsmere that I love so much is under threat from the current proposals by EDF to build a massive new nuclear power station on its southern boundary.

    As a child I often read about the amazing birds seen here, dreaming that one day I'd have the chance to see a bittern, marsh harrier or avocet. I never thought that I'd get to work there one day. I…

    • 24 Nov 2020
  • If you go down to the woods today...

    OK, you might not be in for a surprise, but you'll certainly be rewarded with something special. Woodland walks in autumn are always special, and are guaranteed to bring the child out in all but a few people. After all, is there anything more enjoyable than walking through a deep litter of golden leaves, taking the chance to swing your boot, and giggling as the leaves tumble back down around you?

    If you're really…

    • 20 Nov 2020
  • Of Moths and Men

    Guest blog by Mark Solomons, Minsmere volunteer and resident

    Under the darkness of night a group of men set out their traps. They range from the smart and sophisticated to bizarre looking, almost Heath Robinson-like. And that's just the men. You should see the traps!

    Hours later, as dawn breaks over what tourism chiefs like to call The Sunrise Coast, the men return to see what denizens of the night have been lured…

    • 14 Nov 2020
  • An exciting weekend, despite lockdown

    One of the advantages of living close to the Suffolk coast is that it's easier to spot some wildlife, see the sea, and enjoy some welcome fresh air during your local walk, and there were certainly a few people doing just that during the lovely sunny weather over the weekend. It was great to see that social distancing was being adhered to at all times, and family groups were not mixing at all as visitors took advantage…

    • 9 Nov 2020
  • Still lots to see - but keep safe

    Unlike during the first lockdown, we're pleased to be able to keep the nature trails at Minsmere open this time round, allowing local people to enjoy the reserve as part of their daily outdoor exercise. It's been good to see a few locals out and about enjoying the lovely weather yesterday and today. With government guidance to avoid unnecessary journeys and stay local, we know that a visit to Minsmere is, sadly, not an…

    • 6 Nov 2020
  • Covid 19 update for November

    We know that for many of you, Minsmere provides enjoyment and solace in the natural world throughout these challenging times. In line with Government guidance on essential, daily exercise outdoors, during the Second Lockdown, our car park, trails and toilets remain open for you to visit. Please follow all current Government guidance around social distancing, who you can visit with, hygiene and follow all signage on-site…

    • 4 Nov 2020
  • Last chance for Christmas card shopping (for now)

    With another lockdown set to start on Thursday, you have just today and tomorrow left if you want to buy your Christmas cards, crackers, calendars or nature-themed presents in person, as we will, unfortunately, be closing the shop again from close of play tomorrow.

    You will, of course, still be able to stock up on Christmas goodies, birdfood, feeders, etc, via the RSPB's online shop, at https://shopping.rspb.org…

    • 3 Nov 2020
  • Farewell to summer

    Today marks the last day of British Summer Time, with the autumnal windy weather feeling very apt. Much as I love autumn and winter for their colours, fresh air and wildlife, there is a downside to the clocks going back: it will be dark when I drive home from work after tonight!

    Autumn is, of course, a season of plenty in the natural world, with hedgerows dripping with berries and verges and field margins full of seed…

    • 24 Oct 2020
  • A new bird at Minsmere

    After more than 70 years as an RSPB nature reserve, it's not often that we are able to a new species of bird to our already impressive reserve list, so it seems rather apt to have done so on the eve of the Global Bird Weekend, organising in part by our partners at Birdlife International.

    The latest addition to Minsmere's list - a dusky warbler - is another tiny leaf warbler that breeds in Siberia and usually heads…

    • 17 Oct 2020
  • Visitors from the east

    In my last blog I mentioned the change to wet and windy weather. Shortly after that, the wind turned easterly and a flood of migrants arrived on the East coast. 

    These were the perfect conditions for a fall of migrants. It began with flocks of song thrushes and redwings arriving last weekend, accompanied by smaller numbers of starlings, skylarks, blackbirds and fieldfares. there were also flocks of siskins, chaffinches…

    • 9 Oct 2020
  • A Mix Tape for Minsmere

    Guest blog by Mark Solomons, Minsmere volunteer and resident 

    It is exactly a year since we moved to this part part of the world and what a different world it is to the one we left behind on the outskirts of London.

    Of course, we're just discovering what thousands already know. There is nothing quite like nature to take you out of yourself, particularly in the current times when the need to escape has never been greater…

    • 7 Oct 2020
  • What's that wet stuff?

    After an incredibly dry six months, extending back to the beginning of lockdown, the weather gods clearly decided it was time to wreak their revenge, resulting in what can only be described as awful weather on Friday.

    We had actually fared better than forecast for much of last week, with a few showers and increasing wind as the week wore on, but by Friday the heavens open and the wind blew, and only a tiny handful of…

    • 28 Sep 2020
  • 100 years and counting

    Last week we celebrated a very special birthday at Minsmere as one of our amazing volunteers reached the milestone of 100 years old.

    Betty Nelson has been a familiar face here at Minsmere for many years, and welcomed many visitors to Minsmere during her time as a volunteer on our reception desk until 2012. Since then, Betty has taken on an equally important behind the scenes role in the visitor centre, helping us to sort…

    • 23 Sep 2020
  • A busy week all round

    Wow, it's been great to welcome so many of you Minsmere this week - both new faces and familiar, regular guests. The weather has certainly been kind too, with almost unbroken sunshine (bar a couple of very light showers yesterday) and autumnal warmth - providing you found a bit of shelter from today's easterly wind.

    It's also great that everyone is so understanding of the changes that are necessary in these challenging…

    • 17 Sep 2020
  • Welcome back

    It's great to see many familiar faces visiting us again, and even better to welcome so many new visitors to Minsmere in this most difficult of years. It's also heartening to hear how you've missed our regular blogs. I will try to post one blog per week, but can't always promise to be able to as most of our time is taken up with welcoming you all back to Minsmere and explaining the changes to our previous visiting arrangements…

    • 10 Sep 2020
  • Latest update on facilities and sightings

    It's been quite an exciting few days for sightings at Minsmere, but before we get round to those, here's a quick update on what facilities are open, and what restrictions remain in place.

    Visitor centre - open, 10 am  to 4 pm. Face coverings essential. A one-way system is in operation around the visitor centre.

    Shop - open 10 am to 4 pm. Face coverings essential.

    Cafe - open as take away, with outdoor tables only…

    • 4 Sep 2020
  • More facilities open so even more to see

    In my first post since the early spring, it's great to be able to report that we've been able to open a few more facilities since Matt's last update. It's probably useful to repeat some of the points from that post too, so below is a summary of what is open and what isn't, followed by a quick summary of recent sightings.

    Entry fees

    We have now re-instated full entry fees for non members. As a reminder…

    • 29 Aug 2020
  • Minsmere opening update 16 August 2020

    A few updates as we progress with reopening:

    Our team is now outside to welcome you at the visitor centre. Come speak to us and we will explain all the changes that have been put in place. Bring your membership cards with you. There is a suggested donation of £5 for non-members or even better you can become a member with us on the day! 

    Our shop is now open! Opening times are 10-4 Monday-Sunday. Our café reopens…

    • 16 Aug 2020