• Recent Sightings from our Guide in the Hide Sean Locke

    May Sightings

    SWALLOWTAIL SEASON HAS BEGUN! I'm sure many of you will be happy to hear that and have been making your way to Strumpshaw to see these rare and beautiful butterflies. 

    Swallowtail on yellow flag iris in front of Reception Hide

    After a terrible season last year, due to a wintery spring that disrupted their emergence by a couple of weeks, the warm weather back in May meant that the season got off to an…

    • 31 May 2022
  • News from the Welcome Hub - a new Welcome back in Reception by Barry Madden

    Photo: Reception building fully open with our volunteers ready to welcome you in.

    After what seems an interminably long time, the reception hide at the Fen has been fully opened. The makeshift annex served its purpose well, but in my mind was always a barrier to proper interaction with visitors. Everyone made the best of things in trying circumstances, but it just wasn’t the same. Hopefully, that’s now all behind us…

    • 27 May 2022
  • Recent Sightings from our Guide in the hide - Sean Locke

    April's Sightings

    After a very warm March, it was rather odd to begin this month with snow as a cold snap hit the UK. Thankfully, it wasn't as cold or as long as last year's icy spell which delayed many emerging plants and insects by a couple of weeks. This spring seems to be continuing as normal and even got warmer with very few April showers. April this year has been a very productive month and there's a lot to…

    • 29 Apr 2022
  • News from the Welcome Hub - Seasonal Highlights from Barry Madden

    After the cold, grey, seemingly endless winter it is so good to feel the warmth of Spring sunshine on our faces; to see brimstone and peacock butterflies, awakened from hibernation, flitting around the woodland where the dappled light gives new life to plants lain dormant for months; to be able to listen to the uplifting song of newly arrived Blackcaps, the soft twittering of Swallows and the gentle tumbling notes of…

    • 25 Apr 2022
  • Create Early Nature Connections at Nature Tots

    Exploring the reserve. Photo by Leila Balin (rspb-images.com)

    Many of us recognise that we feel happier and more relaxed when we’re out in nature – whether that’s at a nature reserve, a park or a garden. This innate feeling is recognised in scientific research that shows access to natural space positively affects our wellbeing.

    Connection with nature offers such clear benefits, which can become a part…

    • 20 Apr 2022
  • March Highlights from our guide in the hide Sean Locke

    If you love an early coffee, then we have good news, as Reception will be serving you at 9:30 am instead of 10 am as we move over to our summer opening hours. For the time being our reception hide remains closed off to the public but our welcome team are operating from our outside booth which is open daily from 9.30am-5pm.  Light refreshments, snacks and ice-creams are all available.

    There's more good news as the Fen…

    • 30 Mar 2022
  • Get Eggxcited for Strumpshaw’s Eggxcellent Easter Trail!

    I can’t promise there won’t be more egg puns in this blog… but read on to hear all about the spring events we’ve been busy planning!

     

    Great crested grebes will soon be nesting in the reeds. Photo by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com).

    Join us for some eggstraordinary goings on at Strumpshaw Fen this Easter

    From 2nd to 19th April, we’ll be welcoming families to celebrate the new life we’re seeing all…

    • 29 Mar 2022
  • News from the Welcome Hub - Seasonal highlights from Barry Madden

    Hello! I’m Barry Madden, a volunteer at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen with the reception meet and greet team on alternate Mondays and the events team throughout the year.   I’ve been asked to pen a few words every month with news from the welcome hub, bringing to you a round up of the seasonal delights we have on offer, something I’m all too happy to do. By way of introduction, however, it might be as well to provide you with…

    • 21 Mar 2022
  • February Highlights - Sean's Wild, Wet & Stormy Report

    February is usually the month of love, but this year it was the month of storms. Valentine's Day was soon followed by three storms in one week. The worst of these being Storm Eunice which absolutely battered the country. At Strumpshaw, the reserve was closed for the day as several trees were toppled over, including the tree by Reception Hide, which fortunately fell away from the building. All hides and facilities from…

    • 24 Feb 2022
  • Recent Sightings at Strumpshaw Fen, Buckenham & Cantley Marshes

    January Highlights 2022

     A new year, a new face. Hi, I'm Sean and I will be taking over from where our warden Ben has left off, bringing you a monthly blog of recent sightings and highlights from Strumpshaw Fen, Buckenham and Cantley Marshes. With over 10 years experience of spotting and identifying wildlife to visitors at Strumpshaw Fen Reception Hide and writing a regular blog of my own (called The Autistic Naturalist…

    • 11 Feb 2022
  • A chance to live and work at Strumpshaw Fen

    We are currently recruiting for a Visitor Engagement Volunteer (residential) to help us deliver the first class visitor experience that RSPB nature reserves are famous for this spring and summer. In this role, you will be instrumental in liaising with our visitors, developing and delivering a varied events programme and assisting with marketing and communications.

    If you want to spend your day with people who are passionate…

    • 9 Feb 2022
  • Hold back the tide! An insight into the recent flooding and its impact on Strumpshaw Fen by Senior Sites Manager Tim Strudwick

    For the RSPB team at Strumpshaw Fen, flooding is a regular part of our lives but the last few days we have faced some extremely challenging flood events.

    Last Saturday night and Sunday morning a tidal surge, driven by Storm Malik, pushed seawater up the River Yare, reaching a level of 1.40 m in the Environment Agency level gauge at Brundall. This is the highest level ever recorded, beating the previous record from Nov…

    • 2 Feb 2022
  • Big Garden Birdwatch 2022 is here!

    You don’t need a garden to get involved with the Big Garden Birdwatch…

    … come and visit us at Strumpshaw Fen or explore your local green patch instead! Our bird feeders are busier than ever, and we have friendly volunteers on hand to help with all your bird identification queries. So, if you have never taken part in the Birdwatch before, your local RSPB reserve really is the perfect place to join in.…

    • 27 Jan 2022
  • Strumpshaw Fen Review of the year 2021

    2021 review

    Can you believe its time for another review of the year! This year has been slightly more normal than last, the reserve has remained open throughout the year, the hides reopened and we have had a full team of staff on or involved with the reserve as usual. We also were able to carry out our biological surveys and habitat management to ensure the reserve is being monitored and managed in the best way possible…

    • 18 Dec 2021
  • Notes from the Cottage: Adrian’s final blog

    Hello  

    This will be my last blog from Strumpshaw Fen as I am moving on in the new year, up to RSPB Insh Marshes in Scotland, for another residential placement. I know I will miss this place immensely, having loved all my time here. I feel very lucky to have begun my career change here. It is a beautiful place to live, work and be, at all times of the year, with a lovely group of people to work with. I am very grateful to all the staff…

    • 14 Dec 2021
  • Strumpshaw’s Wintry Wonders

    Christmas decorations are starting to twinkle in shop windows and I’m writing this having just cleared dozens of retailers’ offers from my inbox. This time of the year can be an exhausting mix of stress and excitement, but we have the perfect antidote for you here at Strumpshaw. You can take a stroll to unwind and ground yourself in the sounds of hundreds of waders and wildfowl at Buckenham. Or spend quality time with…

    • 24 Nov 2021
  • Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas

     
     
    Credit Aardman/Netflix.  

    We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary! 

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at Strumpshaw Fen this Christmas season. 

    Over…

    • 13 Nov 2021
  • Notes from the cottage - Adrian takes on a brushcutter!

    Since the last time I put pen to paper, redwings and fieldfares have arrived along with flocks of pink footed geese and as the nights draw in the numbers of harriers coming in to roost are growing by the day. With the appearance of autumn colours and the first frosts, the weather has also got a lot colder and I am needing a lot more layers of clothing when out working in the fen!

    At the beginning of October, Aiden and…

    • 9 Nov 2021
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 21 October 2021

    Slowly the summer migrants are leaving us and the autumn migration is now in full flow. We still have some summer migrants moving out while the winter thrushes and finches arrive as the temperatures drop in Scandinavia.

    I write about the visible migration of diurnal migrants each year and this year in particular the migrants have been less obvious, however last Wednesday saw a great 2 hour count from one of our regular…

    • 21 Oct 2021
  • Notes from the cottage: from reed cutting to event running, the variety of life on reserve.

    Hello again! It’s been a while and a lot has been happening. My first housemate, Sam, has left to return to university, having enjoyed his time here greatly. I have been joined by a new housemate, Aiden, who has been working on the little tern project for the last few months. I am also now staying on until Christmas. I am very keen to see what the reserve is like during autumn and winter, to see the harrier and corvid roosts…

    • 1 Oct 2021
  • Common Lizards – Making the Most of the Sunshine!

    If you stroll down Sandy Wall path on a sunny day, you might be greeted by our resident common lizards! They are often seen in the summer months soaking up the rays on the wooden path edging; as ectotherms (or ‘cold-blooded’ creatures), they rely on the sun’s warmth to increase their body temperature.

    Photo by Matthew Wilkinson of a common lizard basking on a sunny boardwalk at Strumpshaw Fen.

    Common…

    • 1 Sep 2021
  • Notes from the cottage: Adrian and Sam go into the Fen.

    Hello again!  

    The month began with a trip to some of the other reserves that we look after in the Mid Yare reserve. Sam and I were to help one of the wardens “check the cows” in the Surlingham marshes on the other side of the River Yare. I had previously heard talk of this and tried to imagine what checks we might have to do. Did we have to examine them closely for disease or check their hooves?  We arrived at Church Marsh…

    • 18 Aug 2021
  • Are you ready for a ROARsome adventure?

    Our Dinosaur Discovery family trail is in full swing here at Strumpshaw Fen. Are you brave enough to venture into the wilds… and maybe come face-to-face with a present-day dinosaur?

    All the skills your promising palaeontologists need to tackle the trail can be gleaned at Basecamp: you’ll learn how fossils form and how they can be studied to reveal their secrets. Be sure to record your new knowledge on your trail…

    • 14 Aug 2021
  • Recent Sightings 1 August 2021 Strumpshaw Fen

    The seasons are slowly shifting once again, and we have departed from the bustling reedbeds full of bird song and feeding flights and find ourselves in amongst a world of young birds quietly moving like shadows in the fen.

    That said, there is still plenty of life in the fen to enjoy! I hope to do a full breeding summary in the next update once all the sightings are in and all the maps are analysed.

     The clear highlight…

    • 1 Aug 2021
  • A Big Wild Summer Has Begun!

    As Adrian mentioned in his latest blog, the summer activities at Strumpshaw have begun! After the lockdowns, it’s more important than ever for us to reconnect young people with the great outdoors; kindling their love of nature will inspire the conservationists and responsible citizens of the future! This is the aim of the RSPB’s nationwide campaign: Big Wild Summer.

    What’s On?

    Our team has dreamt up…

    • 16 Jul 2021