Scolt Head Island NNR is the prime example of an offshore barrier island in the UK. It is situated on a very dynamic coastline and is steadily growing westward.
Main habitats: Coastal
Area: 737 Ha
Site map: Nature on the Map.
The reserve's primary habitats are sand dune, saltmarsh, intertidal sand and mud flats, and open shingle. The saltmarshes are considered to be the finest in the UK and are the best documented and researched in the world.
The reserve is difficult to access and this, combined with a management policy of non-intervention, has helped to establish the site as a first-rate research resource for the study of coastal processes.
The island supports nationally and internationally important numbers of breeding terns (sandwich, roseate, Arctic and little) and wintering wildfowl, and waders such as shelduck, wigeon, teal and curlew.
The plant communities of the dunes and saltmarshes are classic examples of their type. Vegetated shingle 'lows' contain plant species of international importance such as matted sea lavender and sea heath.
The island is on the North Norfolk coast, 10 km west of Wells-Next-The-Sea.
The site is reached by a ferry from the village of Burnham Overy Staithe on the A149. The ferries are seasonal, operating from April to September.
The nearest train stations are in Sheringham (30 km to the east) and King's Lynn (30 km to the south west). Bus services from these stations to local villages are provided by Norfolk Green.
The nearest toilet and refreshment facilities are in local villages. There is a one km nature trail with interpretation panels for visitor information.