Norfolk Wildlife Trust - Ranworth
Norfolk Wildlife Trust at Ranworth Broad
The floating Broads’ Wildlife Centre is situated only 20 minutes east of Norwich. Ranworth contains a wide range of habitats and a fantastic variety of wildlife, all to be seen from 750m of boardwalk. At the end of the boardwalk, find our floating visitor centre, nestled in reeds, with panoramic views out across the open water. For a closer look, binoculars are available for hire.
What Can You See
From here, good numbers of wildfowl – Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler and Pochard – can be watched in the winter. Great Crested Grebes and Tufted Ducks are present all year and Kingfishers occasionally zip across the water. Hundreds of Cormorants roost in skeletal, dead trees and can sometimes be seen fishing in groups moving in sequence across the broad, with Marsh Harriers passing overhead. Common Terns and Black Headed Gulls nest in front of the Centre and Swallows nest on the building, itself; Otters often entertain at any time of day all year round and Ranworth is occasionally host to an Osprey, usually in spring and autumn.
The boardwalk passes through carr woodland and reedbed habitats to open water; an excellent example of succession. Learn all about succession as well as how the broads were formed on information boards inside the visitor centre. A number of interesting and varied plants are present on the reserve, as well as common woodland birds. The explosive song of the Cetti’s warbler can often be heard. Swallowtail butterflies are present in small numbers from early June, as well as Norfolk Hawkers and other dragonflies and damselflies. Take a walk with our guides to help identify and point out interesting species and song (alternate Wednesday and Friday mornings beginning 30th May, call 01603 270060 or 01603 270479 for more details or to book).
NWT Ranworth Broad is a fantastic place to bring your children; favourite sessions include pond dipping, boat trips and habitat trails. There is a wide selection of interactive, hands-on activities that appeal to all ages and learning styles. There is a touch screen, colouring, puzzles and touch and feel tables. Friday mornings begin with a look at the fascinating and, often surprisingly beautiful, moths that are so often overlooked and ignored.
Guided Boat Trips
There is an opportunity to take a guided boat tour on Ranworth Broad or venture further afield to Cockshoot Broad, Summer Sunday mornings only July and August or St Benet’s Abbey on Thursday evenings June to August (booking for both trips is essential as numbers are limited) call 01603 270060 or 01603 270479 for more details or to book.
Whatever the weather, Ranworth Broad always has something to offer, from mist hanging atmospherically over the water, still and peaceful to the wind whipping up white horses on the waves or the sun reflecting the deep blue of the water. Ranworth Wildlife Centre is open every day from April through to September and in October it is open weekends and the half term week, 10am until 5pm. Boat trips are weather dependent so we would advise checking before you travel.
Assistance Dogs only
Free Parking and free entry (donations accepted)
Visitor centres open every day 10 - 5 from easter to 30th September
Open 10-5 october half term and weekends in october
Picnic area; tea, coffee, snacks available,
Reserve open all year round
Sorry, No toilets on the reserve
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Guide Dogs Accepted
Open - All Year
Pay & Display Parking