Winterton Dunes NNR is an extensive dune system on the east coast of Norfolk. The site is unusual in that it shows greater ecological similarities to the dune systems of the Baltic - which support acidic plant communities - rather than the dunes on the North Norfolk Coast - where the sand is calcareous.
Main habitats: Coastal
Area: 109 Ha
Site map: Nature on the Map
The site supports well developed areas of dune heath, wet 'slacks' between dunes and dune grassland which grades into grazing marsh and birch woodland.
A wide range of both breeding and over-wintering birds are found here with 170 species being recorded. Little terns breed on the site together with stonechat, nightjar and ringed plover. Marsh harriers hunt in the area and the rare Montagu's harrier has also been sighted here.
Natterjack toads breed in shallow pools behind the main ridge which also supports smooth and crested newts. A number of dragonfly species use the pools including the Norfolk and common hawker.
Over 110 species of moth have been recorded on the site including the rare pigmy footman, fenn's wainscot and pyralid. Butterfly species include grayling and dark green fritillary.
The majority of the reserve is a coastal strip north of, and almost immediately adjacent to, the town of Winterton-on-Sea. To the north it extends as far as a local coastal landmark known as Bramble Hill, two km to the east of the village of Horsey.
By car, access to the reserve is via the B1159. The nearest car park is on the beach front at Winterton-on-Sea.
Winterton-on-Sea is also on Regional Route 30 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.
The nearest toilet and refreshment facilities can be found at the Winterton-on-Sea car park.
A public footpath crosses the length of the reserve and interpretation panels are provided for visitor information.