Early summer at Strumpshaw Fen reserve can be a magical experience. The fen wakes up from its long winter and life flourishes in abundance wherever you look.

The star attractions are the magnificent swallowtail butterflies; they are the largest butterfly in the UK and this subspecies is only found in the Norfolk Broads. The butterflies can only be encountered for a brief period each year, most reliably being seen on warm calm days from late May to mid-June.

On warm days the variety of wildlife encountered can be quite amazing; many butterflies, dragonflies, beetles of all shapes and sizes, lizards, grass snakes as well as an amazing range of flowering plants including many orchids.


Birds also feature very well throughout this period with bitterns booming, cuckoos calling, warblers singing from the reedbeds and bushes throughout the fen. Many of the bird species encountered at this time of the year are migrants that have arrived to breed all the way from Africa! You may be treated to the first swim of a duckling, see food being passed in mid-air by the marsh harriers, see the kingfishers flash past you or be mesmerised by the aerodynamics of the hunting swifts.

Come and find out what surprise is in store for you around the reserve this summer!