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Elinor and I took this walk nearly ten months ago, a week after the walk I featured in my last post.  I hadn’t been at all well after my second Covid vaccine which I had had a couple of days after the previous walk so my only stipulation for this walk was that it be short.

Hen Reedbeds

Hen Reedbeds was opened in 1999 and is looked after by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust in conjunction with the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and Natural England. It shows what can be done with land affected by coastal erosion and rising sea level.  It has a mixture of freshwater wetland habitats – reedbeds, dykes, pools and fenland and is home to many wading birds and raptors.  It was developed specifically to encourage the breeding of Eurasian bitterns.  Unfortunately, Elinor and I didn’t see many birds at all on our short walk which was only part-way along the Eastern trail.

There is a car-park just off the road which bisects the reserve but it is easily missed.  Luckily we had no trouble finding it because, despite never having visited this reserve before, we drive along the road quite often and even drove past the entrance to the carpark on our way to Reydon Wood the previous week.  There is a short walk from the carpark through trees, scrub and then reedbed to the road which separates the east and west areas of the reserve.

Some rather sorry-looking fungus on a tree near the carpark

Common Storksbill (Erodium cicutarium) on the path

Taking our lives into our hands, we dashed across the road and entered the reserve.  The road does get quite busy at times as it is the main road into Southwold and Reydon from the A12.

When we first arrived there was a promise of better weather. The sky was definitely blue in the distance.

Unfortunately, the blue skies disappeared and we had quite a chilly walk.

Elinor strides off into the distance

The water to the left of the path is Wolsey Creek and the path is called Quay Lane.  In the past there was a fair amount of river traffic in this area but not any more.  The creek is fed by water from the River Wang.  Such an odd name, isn’t it?  I believe the word comes from the Old English for ‘open fields’.  Nearby is a village called Wangford  which obviously is situated at a crossing of the river.

Farmland beyond the reedbeds

We continued along the path until we reached a more open expanse of water.  This is part of the tidal estuary of the River Blyth into which the creek flows.

The water shone like pewter.

Blyth estuary

Blyth estuary

Observation hide.

Because of Covid, the hide was closed which was a great pity because we might have seen some of the wildlife that is supposed to inhabit this reserve.  The pathway and anyone on it can be seen for miles around and any self-respecting mammal or bird would be keeping their heads down all the time we were parading up and down.  We did see a couple of raptors in the distance.  I saw a Common Buzzard and Elinor was fortunate enough to see a Red Kite.

We turned to go back the way we had come. Elinor was getting very hungry and I was tired.

I looked towards the farm and noticed that they had brought a horse out.


Sea Purslane (Halimione portulacoides ) growing at the edge of the creek

This was an interesting place and now that spring is on it’s way and the hides will probably be open again I might consider a re-visit in the near future.