It's that time of year when schools and offices close for an extended Christmas break. Wildlife doesn't get such a luxury. As a result, many people take the opportunity to head out and enjoy family walks over the Christmas period, often watching some of the amazing winter wildlife around them.
Understandably, therefore, Minsmere is high on people's list of places to enjoy a winter walk. Whilst we're keen for you to come and enjoy nature, we do need a few days with our friends and families ourselves, so Minsmere is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
This means that ALL FACILITIES, including the car park, visitor centre, toilets, nature trails and hides, ARE CLOSED, from 4 pm on Christmas Eve until 9 am on Friday 27 December.
It is still possible to see some of the amazing wildlife at Minsmere when we're closed by walking around the many public footpaths that cross the reserve. These paths include the beach, the public footpath from the sluice to Eastbridge, and various paths across the heath. Please note, however, that oyu cannot access the beach through the reserve when we are closed.
Alternatively, you can also explore the wonderful RSPB nature reserves at North Warren, Snape Warren, Dingle Marshes or Boyton and Hollesley Marshes, all of which are accessed via public rights of way.
While Minsmere remains open as usual until Christmas Eve, it is worth noting that some of the paths are very wet as a result of this week's heavy rain. The path from South Hide to the Sluice is completely closed as it is impassable, even in wellington boots. This is a result of water backing up the old Minsmere river in order to give priority through the sluice to the New Cut, thus reducing the risk of extensive flooding higher up the valley. We don't anticipate this path being fully open for a few days, so it is not currently possible to complete a circuit of the Scrape. Don't worry, though, as a visit to North Hide, East Hide and the Public Viewing Platform should yield sightings of most of the species using the Scrape, including 1000+ ducks and 400+ lapwings.
Some of the paths through the woods are wet in places, and may be a bit slippy, so please wear shoes with good grips if at all possible. If you are planning to visit Island Mere Hide then you may need wellingtons as the small bridge between Whin Hill and the Rhododendron Tunnel junction is also flooded. Access via the Rhododendron Tunnel is possible without boots.
Of course, there is still ample time to visit Minsmere over the next few days to pick up some last minute Christmas presents, or a bargain in our winter sale, and we look forward to welcoming visitors back from 27 December.
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