• 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
  • 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
  • Join in the Fun

    Laura is back with another blog about how you can have fun while helping nature this year. This week she looks at how you can take actions for nature and how we can all help save RSPB Minsmere.

    This year, perhaps more than ever, we realised how important our natural green spaces are to the wildlife that lives there and also to our own wellbeing.  This has urged a lot of us into action. Whether we have bought a reusable…

    • 26 Nov 2020
  • It's Getting Colder

    The nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air.. which can only mean one thing. Winter is almost upon us! As we crank up our thermostats and don our winter coats, Laura ponders over the pressures wildlife face over the colder months and what we can do to help.

    As humans we have become quite resourceful to combat the harsher temperatures of winter. We light up dark evenings, heat our homes and wear thermals…

    • 19 Nov 2020
  • Happy Birthday RSPB!

    After a week’s break, Laura is back and this week it looks like the RSPB have some celebrating to do, after all it’s only their 131st birthday!

    131 years’ worth of giving nature a home, now that’s an achievement surely worth celebrating. On the 13th November 1889, Emily Williamson founded the Society for the Protection of Birds from her home in Manchester. Along with four other extraordinary women…

    • 13 Nov 2020
  • Ghostly Goings-On

    This week it’s October half term so Laura is back with an update on what’s been happening at Strumpshaw Fen in the run up to Halloween. Take a minute to read about all the ghostly goings on in the Wild Woods - the place pixies, fairies and goblins call home.

    It has been a busy few days at Strumpshaw Fen, this half term. We unveiled the Wild Woods Scavenger Hunt last Thursday and the event runs until Sunday…

    • 29 Oct 2020
  • Everyone Can Help Save Nature

    This week sees Laura return to the important topic of giving nature a home throughout the UK and how the RSPB’s Revive Our World Campaign is helping to drive governmental change and help create solutions to the current climate and biodiversity crises.

    Whether your back garden is large and teaming with wildlife, or whether you have no garden, there are ways that each and everyone of you can help to give nature a…

    • 15 Oct 2020
  • Dedicated Volunteers

    This week Laura shifts away from wildlife to talk about the army of Strumpshaw volunteers that offer up their time to help out around the reserve. Volunteers are such an important part of the Strumpshaw team, so it’s high time we celebrate them!

    Volunteers at Strumpshaw Fen are such a diverse group of people from all walks of life. From serving as a friendly face at reception or during events or school visits, to…

    • 8 Oct 2020
  • Recent sightings Strumpshaw Fen 1st October 2020

    I can’t quite believe it is already October, but looking outside all the signs are there! In the past few weeks we have had the full spectrum of weather from warm sunshine to persistent horizontal rain!

    The reserve has seen the majority of its summer migrants now leave us, whilst the winter birds are beginning to arrive. This passage of incoming birds is most obvious on relatively calm days when large number of…

    • 1 Oct 2020