For three years the BBC Springwatch cameras have brought some of RSPB Minsmere’s incredible wildlife to your TV screens. The cameras may have gone elsewhere this year, but the wildlife remains, and as they celebrate their 70th anniversary there are more reasons than ever to plan your next (or first) visit to Minsmere.
70 species to spot
There are 70 great reasons to plan a series of visits throughout the year as RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve is launching a 70 species to spot challenge during the special birthday weekend on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April.
The 70 species represent just a small selection of Minsmere’s 5700 species, from common, easy to spot species such as mallard and rabbit to scarcer, more elusive bitterns and otters. You’ll need to make several visits to see all 70 though, as nightingales only sing in April and May, while fly agaric fungi are only found in the autumn.
Some of the 70 species have been chosen because they represent significant conservation success stories: avocets, bitterns, marsh harriers and bearded tits, for example, all owe their continued survival in the UK to the work of previous RSPB wardens and volunteers in creating and maintaining ideal habitat.
Others, such as little egret, Cetti’s warblers, wasp spiders, and the predatory beewolfs are recent colonists that could only be dreamt of back in 1947.
A great day out
Of course, a visit to Minsmere is about much more than just watching the wildlife. On arrival, you’ll be greeted by friendly, knowledgeable volunteers. The visitor centre includes a large RSPB Shop and a spacious cafe serving delicious home-cooked, locally sourced food.
A choice of circular nature trails take visitors through the varied wetland, woodland and grassland areas to several birdwatching hides, with RSPB volunteers stationed at key points to help you to spot some of the wildlife. The views are amazing too!
Young visitors are amply catered for too. The Wild Zone is a natural play area where kids can become sand martins as they play in the specially built tunnels, or families can share the excitement of building a den.
There’s a wide range of guided walks and family activities planned throughout the year.
For full details about visiting Minsmere see www.rspb.org.uk/minsmere. You can also keep in touch with news from Minsmere via the RSPB Suffolk Facebook page or @RSPBMinsmere on Twitter.