Norfolk Wildlife Trust Activities and Events

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the North Norfolk local group run various walks and events in the area. 

For events organised by the NWT in other areas of Norfolk, view the  NWT Website.


NWT North Norfolk Group -  Activities and Talks

Gun Hill Dunes for orchids and butterflies - Thursday 14 June

Walk led by Andy Bloomfield, Holkham Estate Warden, exploring the sea wall to the dunes. Bring a picnic lunch if you wish.

Time:   10am - 2.30pm
Venue: Park on the upper beach at Burnham Overy Staithe, 7Km west of Wells, of A149
Cost: Donation to NWT.

Towards Blakeney Point - Wednesday 27 June

 

A walk with Richard Porter for birds, butterflies and flowers, as far as The Hood. Wear stout shoes (some shingle to cross) and bring lunch. This event has been arranged jointly with the National Trust.

Time:    10am  - 4pm
Venue: Cley Beach car park, north from A149,  east of the village
Cost: Parking charge for non-NWT members. Donations also welcome.

 

Events at Cley Marshes

 

EXHIBITIONS

 
 
EXHIBITIONS IN THE GALLERY
 

Free entry to all the  exhibitions in the Gallery, open daily 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Flock - Wednesday 4 April – Tuesday 17 April

Flock is a new collection of bird drawings by Alice Lee. Alice’s distinctive graphic style makes the exhibition a unique interpretation of the bird life found at Cley Marshes. Coinciding with this show, Alice is working with NWT on a colouring-in book of her technical drawings which you can try out at her workshop on Wednesday 11 April.

Rural and wild Norfolk - Wednesday 18 April – Tuesday 1 May

Norfolk has an abundance of wildlife and a varied landscape from the soft sandy beaches in the east to the rising cliffs in the west. Sarah Weston is a keen photographer and can always be found out and about with a camera in hand from sunrise to sunset, watching the local wildlife or just catching the waves getting windswept and wet feet on the beaches. 

Awash with colour - Wednesday 2 May – Tuesday 15 May

A new collection of Norfolk coastal watercolours by resident professional watercolourist, John Hurst. The exhibition will feature atmospheric paintings and prints, depicting the changing seasons, colours and light encountered in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Impressionistic atmosphere of our coast - Wed 16 May – Tues 29 May

Norfolk artist Maureen Cherry draws her inspiration from the ever changing movement of skies, seas and inland waterways. The North Sea gives beauty, tranquillity and ferociousness to this coast and has no mercy on cliffs, shingle banks, salt marshes or defences. The emotion, atmosphere, freedom and destruction by these great waters around our coast is what drives Maureen to paint.

Colour, light and nature - Wednesday 30 May – Tuesday 12 June

An exhibition by 3 prolific Norfolk artists, Joy Cole, Peter Strudwick and Mary Richardson, showcasing paintings and prints, in watercolours, oils, and acrylics, plus a collection of cold cast bronze animal sculptures. Inspired by Norfolk’s natural beauty including wildlife and scenery.

Cornucopia - Wednesday 13 June – Tuesday 26 June

Local artist Rosalie Osborne Gibb's diverse range of art reflects her love of coast and countryside, from land and seascapes to flora and fauna, from bold acrylics to finely detailed watercolours and soft pastels, often incorporating creative techniques. Signed Limited Edition prints, cards and gifts will also be available.

Big sky and beaches - Wednesday 27 June – Tuesday 10 July

Caroline Richmond is delighted to be exhibiting in The Gallery again this year. Her new collection captures the glorious North Norfolk beaches, big skies and ever changing weather familiar to our wonderful coastline. Caroline paints with oil on canvas and board, her work ranges from small and collectable to large spectacular pieces and personalised commissions.

Creating a scene  - Wednesday 11 July – Tuesday 24 July

Inspired by the wonderful scenery along the north Norfolk coast, Sally Holman presents a collection of pictures individually created from textiles using innovative patchwork, quilting, applique’ and embroidery techniques.

 

EXHIBITIONS IN THE SIMON ASPINALL EDUCATION CENTRE

Bird Photographer Of The Year - Thursday 1 February – Monday 16 April

This year Cley Marshes will be debuting the prestigious Bird photographer of The Year Exhibition. The exhibition showcases a range of stunning photographers from intentional and national photographer. The exhibition is split into seven categories Best Portrait,   Birds in the Environment, Attention to Detail, Bird Behaviour, Birds in Flight, Garden and Urban Birds and Creative Imagery.

Chris Packham, head judge on the panel of experts, said, “The standard of photography was extremely high and myself and the other judges were treated to some fantastic bird photographs, but congratulations must go to Alejandro Prieto Rojas for his sublime image of flamingos, an incredible balance of colour, composition and emotion.”


GUIDED WALKS

These events need to be booked as places are limited. Please call the Visitor Centre on 01263 740008
Unless otherwise stated:
Times: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Cost:    £3.50 NWT members and children, £5.00 non-members
 

Walk with the Warden

Bernard Bishop has been the warden for more than forty years and is the third generation of his family to work at Cley Marshes. Hear about the history of Cley, how the reserve has changed over time and what life is like as a warden on a coastal nature reserve. Suitable for al walking abilities.

Apr:   Wednesday         4     Wednesday   18
May:  Wednesday         2     Wednesday   30
Jun:   Wednesday         6      Wednesday  20
Jul:    Wednesday         4      Wednesday  18


Walsey wander

Discover the huge variety of wildlife and habitats in the Cley to Salthouse living landscape. This walk starts at the visitor centre and heads east, up and along Walsey Hills – offering spectacular views across the marshes before heading down to Babcock hide and back along the Attenborough way.

Apr:   Tues   10
May:  Tues     8
Jun:   Tues     5

Circuit of Cley 

A  guided circuit walk around the reserve and along the shingle ridge taking in the wildlife and habitats of the North Norfolk coast along the way. The walk is approx. 2.5 miles.

Apr:   Thurs   26
May :  Thurs  24
Jun :  Thurs   28
Time: 10.30 am - 1 pm

Spring song & breakfast  - Saturday 29 April,  Sunday  6 May

This is one for the early birds! Come and join us just after dawn for a walk around the reserve to experience the fantastic morning song. Then head back to the visitor centre for a cooked breakfast.

Time: 6 – 8.30am
Cost: £12 NWT members, £15 non-members (price includes breakfast)
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Ladies on the Lookout

Join one of our friendly guided walks for women lead by one of our fantastic female reserve guides. In this relaxed event you will discover the incredible bird life found at Cley and meet likeminded people.

May:   Wed  16
Jun:    Fri    15
Jul:     Mon  16

Beach Clean - First Saturday of the month - Free event 

Help us to clean up our shore to benefit coastal wildlife. There is always lots of exciting wildlife and mysterious marine objects to be found on the shore too.  In the event of adverse weather  please contact the visitor centre in advance to check for cancellations. All equipment provided.

Apr:  Saturday 7  (Salthouse Beach Road)
May: Saturday 5  (Cley  beach car park)
Jun:  Saturday 2  (Salthouse Beach Road)
Jul:   Saturday 7  (Cley  beach car park)
Time: 10.30 am - 12 noon

Birds of Cley

If you are new to birdwatching and want to learn more about the birds that visit Cley, no matter what your age, join us for a walk onto the reserve with the chance to see  marsh harriers, avocets, little egrets  and many more.  Binoculars can be provided. 

Apr:  Sunday 15
May: Sunday 20
Jun:  Sunday 10
Jul:   Sunday 15


Spring birds  - Thursday 19 April

A change in the season brings an exciting time of year with lots of bird movement. Join a guided trip around the reserve and into the hides to observe birds arriving for the summer and those birds passing on their migration.

Birds & brunch

A relaxed morning of bird watching on the reserve followed by a delicious brunch in the visitor centre. A great morning for those who want to learn more about birds and their habitats.

Jun:  Sunday 24
Time: 9.30 – 11.30am
Cost: £12 NWT members, £15 non-members (price includes brunch)

Walk the Attenborough Way - Tuesday 10 July

Walk along the new footpath opened by Sir David Attenborough and discover the huge variety of wildlife along the way. The walk takes in reedbeds, grazing marsh, freshwater dykes and scrapes. NWT staff will describe the work involved in maintaining this fantastic habitat for wildlife.

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Cost: £3.50 NWT members, £5 non-members

Evening stroll & BBQ - Thursday 19 July

An evening exploration of the reserve followed by a barbecue on the terrace, which offers fantastic views across the marsh.

Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: £10 NWT members, £12 non-members (price includes BBQ)

Iron road ramble

Explore the new land in this circular walk along Attenborough’s walk, up the iron road and back along the shingle ridge with our warden, George Baldock. This walk will help you to discover a new walking route in the Cley to Salthouse living landscape and take in the spectacular wildlife along the way.

Apr: Tues  24
May:Tues  22
Jun: Tues  26
Jul:  Tues  24

LUNCH TALKS

These events need to be booked as places are limited. Please call the Visitor Centre on 01263 740008
Unless otherwise stated:
Times: 1.30am – 3.00pm
Cost:    £8 NWT members , £10 non-members (Price includes a light lunch)

Beautiful Burial Grounds - Thursday 19 April

Churchyards are a fantastic place for wildlife. Their often undisturbed grassland great for wildflowers, veteran trees for bats and birds and stonework for rare plants and lichens. Find out more about the importance of these special places for wildlife and about the new Caring for God’s Acre HLF Beautiful Burial Ground Project. This will see Norfolk Wildlife Trust volunteers survey churchyards for plants, butterflies, birds and more, as well as engage school children about the wildlife that call these historic sites home.

Birds and their gift of music - Thursday 17 May

An illustrated talk by Mike Green, looking at the extraordinary influence of birds on music and musicians over the last millennium.  There will be many recorded examples of birdsong and the wide variety of music they have inspired.

Birds by Habitat - Thursday 21 June

Carl Chapman takes a look at birds by their habitat, talking about why most species of bird are found only in particular habitats. Carl will answer frequently asked questions and raise other questions for discussion.

Norfolk’s Historical Landscapes - Thursday 12 July

North Norfolk is home to dramatic coastal, heathland and woodland landscapes. Although diverse and natural in appearance, most have one thing in common – the influence of humans over thousands of years. Historic environment team leader at Norfolk County Council Environment Service, David Robertson has been studying the historic landscapes of north Norfolk for over twenty years. David will give an illustrated talk on our surviving historic landscapes, from those dating back nearly a million years to those of the Second World War.

Sounding Coastal Change

These events are part of the Open Universities Project Sounding Coastal Change  www.soundingcoastalchange.org

Building a Sound Ark - Tuesday 17 April

Explore how the voices of the coast; its birds, maps, reed beds, shingle, fishermen or folk songs can tell us about the coastal landscapes we value. The coast is changing and people’s lives are changing with it. In this workshop, we will build a Sound Ark - a time capsule message of sounds we want to preserve for future generations to hear. There will be an opportunity to go out and about on the reserve to capture some of the sounds of Cley with recording equipment provided on the day and/or to use materials provided, including sounds, songs and voices recorded locally.

Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Cost: Free
Booking advised: 01263 740008

Coastal conversations - Saturday 30 June

An informal ‘conversation café’ about the ever-changing and dynamic north Norfolk coast; past, present and future. Sit down to morning tea with lay experts as well as professionals from organisations such as NWT and the Open University, for a stimulating conversation about our ‘Living Landscape’. These experts are listeners as much as they are talkers, and they want to hear what you have to say. Some of the conversations may be recorded for research purposes, and for a live online broadcast for World Listening Day, 18 July 2018.

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Cost: Free
Booking advised: 01263 740008

 

NATURAL HISTORY WORKSHOPS
 

Seaweed pressing - Saturday 14 April

In this fun workshop Seasearch leader Rob Spray will teach you how to press seaweed for both natural history collection and art. Head down to the beach to collect seaweed and begin to identify different species, learning about its importance along the way.

Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Cost:  £22 NWT members, £26 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Cetaceans - Saturday 21 April

Carl Chapman, Norfolk’s cetacean recorder, will help you learn about the cetaceans that have occurred off Norfolk and teach you how to identify them, as well as discussing what is likely to turn up in the future. After lunch you will be sea watching off Cley looking out for Harbour Porpoise.

Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Cost:  £22 NWT members, £26 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Garden birds:  Song and calls  - Saturday 28 April

Identifying birds by their songs and calls is a great skill to have; it’s less tricky than you might think and adds a whole new dimension to birdwatching.  This workshop is aimed at beginners and sets out to help familiarise you with the songs and calls of birds most commonly encountered in gardens.  After an early start to listen to the dawn chorus, we will help you ‘tune in’ to individual species, before consolidating knowledge over coffee in a short classroom session.  This workshop is part of a partnership programme between Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.

Location: NT Sheringham Park
Time: 5.30am – 8.30am
Cost:  £17.50
Booking essential: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheringham-park

Biodiversity landscaping - Saturday 19 May

Landscape designer and naturalist Sarah Butler will be running this one-day workshop to help you improve your garden for wildlife. Sarah will share her knowledge and advice and by the end of the day you will all have your own plan to help improve your garden for nature. This workshop is part of a partnership programme between Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.

Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Cost:  £22 NWT members, £26 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008 

Swifts - Saturday 16 June

As part of 2018 UK Swift Awareness Week, Action for Swifts co-ordinator Dick Newell will explore the lives of these amazing birds. He will discuss their behaviour, ecology, migration journeys, and the importance of conserving these birds. An illustrated talk will be followed by a guided walk to a swift nest site. This workshop is part of a partnership programme between Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.

Time: 10.30am – 1.30pm
Cost: £16 NWT members, £19 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Grasses, Rushes & Sedges - Saturday 23 June

Richard Hobbs, an ex-Director of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, will guide you through the major features of grasses, rushes and sedges.  You will look closely at a wide range of materials before seeing what can be found on the reserve.  This group of plants can seem somewhat difficult but if you know what to look for things get much easier.  Richard will also show you a range of plant ID guides and how to use them.

Time: 10.30am – 1.30pm
Cost: £16 NWT members, £19 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Moths - Friday 6 July & Saturday 7 July

The first session in this two-part workshop is based at Sheringham Park and is designed to help beginners get to grips with the major moth families. You will be looking at live specimens and will be provided with an introduction to moth identification and shown how to set up and operate a variety of moth traps.  The second session, based at Cley Marshes, is for beginners and improvers, and we will examine the contents of moth traps from various habitats, consider some difficult macro moth species pairs and also introduce you to micro moths. This workshop is part of a partnership programme between Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.

Location:  Friday 13 July at Sheringham Park, 7pm – 10pm
                Saturday 14 July at NWT Cley Marshes, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Cost:  £16 NWT members, £19 non-members  for one session or both sessions £22 NWT members, £26 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008

 

ART AND NATURE

Create a colourful aviary  - Wednesday 11 April

Artist Alice Lee will lead a casual and fun workshop colouring a variety of her bird designs (or draw your own) and then applying them onto a panel of plain wallpaper. The end result will be an imaginative menagerie of bird-like creatures. Materials will be provided, or you can to bring your own. An accompanying book 'Flock', based on Alice's exhibition, will be available to purchase and colour in too. All ages and skill levels welcome.

Time: Drop in any time between 10.30 - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4pm
Cost: Free

Release Your Artistic Creativity! - Saturday 16 June

Be inspired and create a unique masterpiece, using a variety of creative techniques and everyday items found around the home and garden.  Local artist Rosalie Osborne Gibb's will demonstrate her technique and then guide you to create a piece working mainly in watercolours with the addition of a few extras. The workshop is suitable for all abilities, including those with little or no experience.  Rosalie will be exhibiting from Wednesday 13 to Tuesday 26 June.

Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Cost: £22 NWT members, £26 non-members (price includes written notes to take home)
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Create a wildlife scene book cover - Thursday 19 July

Sally Holman is back again but this time with something a little different. In this workshop you will make a small landscape or seascape from a pattern provided and turn it into a centre piece for a book cover. You will need to bring a suitable book/album to cover so that you can learn how to cut the pattern to the correct size. Pre-ordered kits available for a small book at £10 each, or bring your own fabric. An equipment list will be provided nearer the time.  

Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Cost: £22 NWT members, £26 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008

 

HEALTH & WELLBEING

Summer Solstice Yoga - Thursday 21 June

Join Cley Marshes resident yoga teacher Eva Edwards for a relaxing evening yoga session. A great way to welcome in the summer months.

Time: 6pm – 7.30pm
Cost: £8
Booking essential: 01263 740008

 

FAMILY EVENTS

Please note all family events involve an outdoor element on the reserve.

Nature detectives - Tuesday 3 April

Explore skulls, bones, beaks, pellets, fossils, and footprints to discover the bizarre and beautiful animals living in Norfolk.

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Cost: £4 children (accompanying adult free)
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Capturing Cley - Friday 6 April

Explore and film exciting coastal wildlife at Cley using handheld cameras. Then watch your films on the big screen in our education centre. All equipment provided.

Time: 10.30am – 1pm 
Cost: £4 children (accompanying adult free)
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Signs of Spring - Friday 13 April 

The reserve is alive with wildlife in the spring, with birds singing and dancing in the sky, and plant and insect life beginning to emerge from the undergrowth. Join us to search for signs of spring on the reserve.

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm 
Cost: £4 children (accompanying adult free)
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Bird bonanza - Sunday 6 May

It’s International Dawn Chorus day! To celebrate we will be running free crafts and activities in the education centre for all the family to help you learn more about the amazing birds that live on our doorstep.

Time: 10.30am – 4.30pm 
Cost: Free

Earth walk - Tuesday 29 May

Explore the reserve using all your senses. Inquisitive eyes, noses, fingers and dirty knees are essential.

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Cost: £4 children (accompanying adult free)
Booking essential: 01263 740008

30 Days Wild – Day One - Friday 1 June

Make room for nature this June – no matter where you are or how busy your life is, take part in the challenge and embrace random Acts of Wildness. We will have nature inspired activities running all day in the centre and on the reserve to help you kick start your 30 Days Wild. We will also have loads of ideas to inspire you for the next 29 days.

Time: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Cost: Free

Bizarre bats - Saturday 2 June

Kick start June’s 30 Days Wild campaign with this fantastic evening event. With bat detectors at the ready we hope to tap into the amazing life of these secretive animals. This informal event is open to all ages.  

Time: 9pm – 11pm
Cost: £3.50 members and children £5 non-members
Booking essential: 01263 740008

Nocturnal Nature - Saturday 16 June – Sunday 17 June

As part of 30 Days Wild’s Big Wild Weekend we will be hosting an exclusive event where you will have the unique opportunity to experience the reserve at night; its wildlife, its sounds and sights which are rarely seen by other visitors. Join in celebrating Nocturnal Nature with a supper, sunset bird walk, bat detecting and wildlife films.  Sleep over in the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre and wake up to experience the reserve in the early morning light with a refreshing bird walk before breakfast and then finish by opening our moth traps.
Suitable for ages 8-16. Please note there must be at least 1 paying adult responsible for a maximum of 4 children.

Time: Saturday 16 June 6.30pm – Sunday 17 June 9.30am
Cost: £25 members, £30 non-members (price includes two course evening supper, snacks and breakfast as well as all activities)
Booking essential: 01263 740008 (for more information and T&Cs visit www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk)