Birdwatching, or birding, continues to be a popular hobby in the UK. About three million people reportedly go birdwatching here every year. Birdwatching is a really popular recreational activity of observing different species of birds and learning their physical characteristics and natural behaviour. Over the years, this activity has become an effective way of preserving wildlife and bird habitats, prompting organisations like the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to declare many areas as nature reserves.
Oldest Nature Reserve in Cley
One such area is Cley Marshes just outside the village of Cley-next-the-Sea. The oldest nature reserve in the area, Cley Marshes was bought by the NWT in 1926 to become a bird breeding sanctuary. The 176-hectare land provided ideal grounds for preserving natural habitats like reed beds and pools, whose water levels are regulated for migratory birds. Coastal saline waters and marshy grasslands are also maintained for the shelter of these birds before they migrate. The NWT has been protecting birds since owning the land.
Cley Marshes has become a tourist attraction in itself attracting lots of visitors to its visitor centre and café. For those who want to enter the bird hides, they can purchase tickets at the visitor centre. There’s also binocular hire, books and gifts to buy.
A Base for Birdwatchers
Seasoned birdwatchers often establish a base at a hotel near Cley Marshes, such as The George Hotel at Cley, where they can easily take advantage of all the major nature reserves which are within easy reach.
The George Hotel at Cley, considered the perfect base for bird watchers, offers a remarkable view of Cley Marshes and cosy surrounds for your short break. The hotel has a popular restaurant which offers daily changing specials where local produce features heavily.
For people interested in visiting the East of England there are such wonderful short breaks in Norfolk, specifically in Cley-next-the-Sea. A stay at The George would be a perfect choice for those wanting to get closer to nature and enjoy all the area has to offer. Who knows, they might discover a species never before seen around these areas.
(Source: What Is Birding? Benefits of Being a Birder. Birding.about.com)
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