Benacre National Nature Reserve



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Benacre NNR, on the Suffolk coast either side of the village of Covehithe, includes the reedbeds and lagoons of Benacre, Covehithe and Easton Broads, plus the woodlands and heathlands on the higher ground between them. Over 100 breeding bird species use the reserve, including the marsh harrier, bearded reedling, water rail, a variety of ducks, and, in some years, the very shy and elusive bittern. Little terns are summer visitors to the shore and the heathlands are home to woodlark, wheatear and hobby. A typical East Anglian shingle flora is found along the shore, featuring plants such as the yellow-horned poppy, sea kale, sea holly and prickly saltwort. The northern dunes support extensive areas of sheep-bit and the rare grey hair grass. The reedbeds support marsh sower thistle, marshmallow and golden dock while on other parts of the reserve you can see wild daffodil, climbing corydalis, orpine and greater broomrape.

Benacre National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Suffolk

Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.

Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.

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