Barton Broad is the largest Broad in the Ant Valley. It is a man-made landscape impacted by natural processes - the open water is a result of flooded peat diggings.
The fen habitat around Barton Broad contributes to the largest fenland expanse in the UK and contains rare vegetation. It is home to key species including bittern, marsh harrier, otter, fen orchid and Desmoulin’s whorl snail.
Barton Broad and the surrounding margins, reedbeds, fens and wet and dry woodland was purchased in 1945.
NWT Barton Broad lies 2km north of Hoveton on the A1151 Hoveton to Stalham road. Take the turn signposted to Neatishead. In Neatishead village turn right (signed to Irstead.) After half a mile, just before the entrance to Gay's Staithe and The Old Rectory turn right for the main car park (and toilets) or carry on along the road for a further three quarters of a mile to reach the disabled parking only car park.
There is a walk of 1.2km from the main carpark to the board walk, part along a narrow public road. Entrance to the boardwalk is via the car park.
NWT no dogs policy on most of the reserve. The exception is the overnight moorings and the path from there to Barton Turf Staithe. Information signs and boardwalk suitable for wheelchairs. Car park for disabled visitors available. Other reserves nearby are NWT Alderfen Broad, NWT Hickling Broad. Access by canoe: access from River Ant where you can enjoy a leisurely paddle close to the reed edge and along some dykes. Moorings available at the Staithe.