• 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


    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. 


    • 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.


    • 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
  • Notes from the cottage - Adrian gains a housemate.

    Hello again! The Cottage now has two people living in it, as a new resident volunteer has joined me for the next 3 months. His name is Sam and lucky for me he likes to watch the football.  Whilst I enjoyed being the only resident, I am also enjoying having someone else in the house.  He is here for 3 months in between his 2nd and 3rd year of his degree in Geography. Say hi if you see him around. He is quite the expert at…

    • 7 Jul 2021
  • Revive Our World

    Not being able to visit our beloved Strumpshaw Fen for much of the last year has highlighted the importance of biodiverse and beautiful places to our health and wellbeing.

    But we know that the natural places we love are under threat from habitat loss, pollution and climate change with the associated issues of sea-level rise and extreme weather events. With only five per cent of the UK classed as being well looked after…

    • 3 Jul 2021
  • Norfolk Hawkers – Our Ferocious Aerial Hunters!

    Now that the sunshine has arrived and the grassland habitats at Strumpshaw Fen are buzzing with life, the meadow trail is open for visitors to enjoy. Come and discover the majestic hunters that patrol the ditches and dykes – our Norfolk hawker dragonflies!

    The Norfolk Hawker

    Photograph of a Norfolk hawker dragonfly in the fen by Matthew Wilkinson

    Although more widespread in continental Europe (where it is known…

    • 9 Jun 2021
  • Notes from the Cottage - Adrian learns a lot!

     Hello again from the resident volunteer in the cottage. A month has gone by and boy, what a month for me!  It is my birthday month and it has felt like its been my birthday every day.    

    It’s amazing to see how much invisible time and care goes into making the reserve a nice place to be. A lot of the views would not be views without the volunteers occasionally strimming back encroaching vegetation. You may not notice a bramble…

    • 5 Jun 2021
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 30 May 2021

    For the past month we have seen the cold cloudy weather take a grip on things, however for the bank holiday weekend we have some much needed warmth. High pressure is predicted to remain for the first half of June too, so we should see a lot more insect life appearing in the coming weeks.

    Our first swallowtail was seen on Friday 28th, which is 11 days later than average emergence, so they have wisely waited for the warmer…

    • 30 May 2021
  • The Swallowtail - Norfolk's Butterfly

    As swallowtail season approaches here at Strumpshaw Fen, our volunteer Jenna explains why these magnificent butterflies are so special, how we create the perfect home for them at Strumpshaw and how you can take action for nature and help your local butterflies.

    Swallowtail butterfly perched on a pink orchid flower in grassland. The butterfly is striped with black and yellow, with a line of blue spots ending in one red…

    • 24 May 2021
  • Recent Sightings Strumpshaw Fen 8 May 2021

    Since the last update we have had quite a mixture of weather, with bright warm sunshine alongside showers and heavy rain, you could say its been more typical spring weather than recent years. As I write this the rain is pouring down outside, but I am filled with hope as I know the wind has finally turned to the south and the forecast is set to be pleasant next week.

     Despite the changeable weather and Northerly winds…

    • 8 May 2021
  • Notes from the cottage: introducing our new Residential volunteer.

    Hello. You may have seen a new face out and about on the reserve or welcoming you at Reception. I am the new residential volunteer, Adrian. I will be living on the reserve until October, and while I am here, I intend to regularly update you on my life at the reserve. 

    I recently left my career in data management for visual effects, for my real passion, nature. While working in the UK and New Zealand, I volunteered for several wildlife…

    • 30 Apr 2021
  • Recent Sightings 19 April 2021 Strumpshaw Fen

    Barn owl by Elizabeth Dack

    Seeing as we are all able to move about a bit more as restrictions are raised, it seems like a very good time to restart the sightings blog.

    This is the time of the year when we start welcoming back our breeding birds who have travelled from distant shores, the sights and sounds of the woodland and reedbed are transformed by these spring migrants and it heralds a very definite change in season…

    • 19 Apr 2021
  • Merry Christmas!

    Laura and the Strumpshaw Fen team are checking in quickly this Christmas Eve to wish you a very merry Christmas!

    It’s Christmas, so what better way to celebrate giving nature a home this festive season than sharing a few wintery photos from years gone by at Strumpshaw Fen. If you have any festive favourites, you can send us you photos via Facebook or Twitter or email us at strumpshaw@rspb.org.uk.


    Matt Wilkinso…

    • 24 Dec 2020
  • Lots of Fun this Christmas

    This week Laura is back with an update on all things Winter Wonderland. It is just over a week into the Strumpshaw family Christmas trail and there is much festive fun to be had!

    Some of you have already had a Wonderland Adventure this holiday season, but if not, grab your families and a coat and visit us soon. The Wonderland Adventure family trail began last Saturday and runs throughout the holidays until 3 January …

    • 20 Dec 2020
  • Kingfisher Quiz!

    Laura is back, but this week’s blog is a little different than usual. Take a quick read below.

    Hello again! It is very grey and dreary outside at the moment, so I thought I’d try and add a splash of colour to this week’s blog… with a kingfisher quiz! I have shared pictures of five kingfisher species below, can you name them all? Some are harder than others. Hint: think global, not just UK. The answers will be at…

    • 12 Dec 2020
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen11th December 2020

     Hi All,

    Please find below a photograph of our recent sightings board containing a few of the recent highlights from Strumpshaw Fen and Buckenham Marshes. As you can see we are well into our winter sightings, but there is still plenty to see. The highlights have been a cattle egret, great egret, 49 marsh harriers coming into the roost, a hen harrier and the return of the grey geese to Buckenham, we are now just waiting…

    • 11 Dec 2020