Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve



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The largest of the Norfolk Broads, the Hickling Broad NNR provides a year-round haven for wildlife. Hickling is situated on the Upper Thurne River system, which holds a significant percentage of the UK population of common crane. One of the great wildlife spectacles of Norfolk is to watch these impressive birds giving their haunting, bugle-like call as they fly into the reeds near Stub Mill around dusk to roost during the winter. There are also important breeding numbers of bittern, marsh harrier, bearded tit and Cetti’s warbler. In winter large numbers of marsh harriers roost in the reedbeds northeast of Stubb Mill, and merlin and hen harrier are also regulars. The sight of a barn owl is almost guaranteed and you may see kingfisher if you are lucky. Interesting mammals include the introduced Chinese water deer, red deer and hard-to-see otters. Among the many insects are two iconic local specialities – the swallowtail butterfly and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly. Plants include milk parsley, the important larval food plant of the swallowtail.

Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve
Hill Common


About the area

Discover Norfolk

The North Norfolk Coast is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and probably the finest of its kind in Europe. Here you’ll find a string of quaint villages and small towns – Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea and Cley next the Sea are 21st-century favourites, while Sheringham and Cromer are classic examples of a good old-fashioned seaside resort where grand Victorian hotels look out to sea. Further round the coast you'll find Great Yarmouth, one of the most popular resorts in the UK and packed full of amusements, shops and seashore entertainment. And let's not forget Norwich, the region's only city.

Norfolk prides itself on its wealth of historic houses, the most famous being Sandringham, where Her Majesty the Queen and her family spend Christmas. Many of Norfolk’s towns have a particular charm and a strong sense of community. The quiet market towns of Fakenham and Swaffham are prime examples, as well as Thetford, with its popular museum focusing on the TV comedy series Dad’s Army which was filmed in the area.

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