Thetford Heath National Nature Reserve
EAST WRETHAM, NORFOLK
Thetford Heath NNR is the best site in the country to watch the rare and unusual stone curlew. The bird – also known as ‘thick-knees’ – requires open, stony ground with short vegetation to breed, making the rabbit and sheep-cropped turf of Weeting Heath ideal. The stone-curlew is a crow-sized bird with a large head, long yellow legs and long wings and tail. Its large yellow eyes enable it to locate food when it is dark. The reserve is made up of an expanse of acid and chalk grassland, together with smaller areas of heather and lichen-dominated heathland. The heath is also home to woodlarks, green woodpeckers, lapwings and mistle thrushes. Other birds include kestrel, little owl, sparrowhawk, common buzzard, marsh harrier and, in summer, the dragonfly-snatching hobby. Woodland birds common in the trees around the visitor centre and on the woodland walk include crossbills, tree pipits and spotted flycatchers.
Also in the Area
About The area
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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