The Suffolk Coast reserve (formerly known as Walberswick) is managed by Natural England, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.
Main habitats: Coastal
Area: 1340 Ha
Site map: Nature on the Map
Although most NNRs are managed by Natural England, 88 are wholly or partly managed by other bodies approved by Council, under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Suffolk Coast NNR is just south of Southwold, and extends down the coast from the town of Walberswick to Dunwich village. Inland it extends, in places, as far as the B1125.
Access to the area by car is via the A12 which leads to Southwold via the A1095, Walberswick via the B1387, and Dunwich via the B1125.
The nearest train station is in Halesworth. Bus services from Halesworth and Lowestoft to Southwold are provided by First Group.
The nearest hotels and hostelries are in Southwold. Camping and caravan sites can be found at Southwold and Dunwich.
Suffolk Coast NNR comprises three reserves: Walberswick, Hen Reedbed and Dingle Marshes.
Walberswick. This area exhibits many types of habitat including reedbed, hay meadows, grazing marshes and a variety of woodlands. Other areas are dominated by heather and grass heathlands. Shingle, saline lagoons and intertidal estuary and saltings can also to be found.
The reserve has a rich beach flora, while the wetlands are home to marsh sower-thistle, bog pimpernel, sneezewort, lousewort, bogbean, frog-bit and greater bladderwort. The heaths are rich in acid-loving species, which include fenugreek, subterranean and suffocated clovers and mossy stonecrop.
Resident wildlife includes otters and five species of deer, and natterjack toads have been re-introduced to the area. Over 280 bird species have been recorded including bitterns, marsh harriers, bearded reedlings, woodlarks and nightjars.
There is a rich invertebrate fauna with rare solitary bees and wasps, ant-lions, and over 100 species of cranefly (daddy-long-legs). Around 500 species of butterflies and moths live in Walberswick including the silver-studded blue and white admiral.
Hen Reedbed: The reserve is a blend of reedbeds, fens, dykes and pools that provides an important wildlife breeding habitat. Bird-life includes bitterns, marsh harriers, herons, bearded tits, reed and sedge warblers, while the invertebrate fauna includes the four-spot chaser dragonfly and hairy dragonfly. The mammal population includes otters and water voles.
Dingle Marshes: The reserve attracts breeding and wintering wildfowl and wading birds including avocets, white-fronted geese, lapwings and redshanks. The site also holds a significant proportion of the UK’s marsh harrier and bittern populations. Dingle Marshes is also internationally important for the starlet sea anemone that lives at the edges of the creeks, saltmarshes and brackish pools.