Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve  » Travel  »
4.0
1 votes
Are you familiar with this?
Feel free to rate it!
Lincolnshire, England
  • The reserve is situated on The Wash, which is an internationally important location for birds, especially in winter but there are highlights to be seen throughout the year
  • During the winter there are plenty of scarcer ducks too, including pintail and the odd scaup, the latter requiring a bit of experience to pick out from the far commoner tufted ducks
  • Autumn is the best time of year for a rarity to turn up and the list of vagrant birds recorded here is extensive
  • Nowadays you will find a large car parking area and a timber built reception building (visible at the left hand side of the above photo) but be warned that access to the reserve is via narrow single track farm roads and the parking area is not tarmaced so this can be messy in bad weather
  • I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a love of the outdoors and an interest in nature

by Mick Spicer
TRUSTWORTHY

all reviews
    Frampton Marsh is a nature reserve that is located 4 miles (6.5 km) southeast of the town of Boston in Lincolnshire, in Eastern England. The site has been managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) since 2007 but I have been visiting here long before then and I have watched its transformation from flooded farm fields to a diverse habitat for wildlife.

    The reserve is situated on The Wash, which is an internationally important location for birds, especially in winter but there are highlights to be seen throughout the year.

    I try to visit at least once a month and every visit is always very different. Early in the New Year you will see thousands of ducks, especially wigeon, small colourful ducks that spend the winter in Britain before departing in the spring for their breeding grounds in northern Russia. You will also be guaranteed to see hundreds of Brent Geese, up to 3000 of these geese winter here. These are the dark bellied race of this bird that breeds in Siberia and they form large, noisy flocks. As with the wigeon I’ve found both of these species to have little fear and they can often be approached right down to a few metres.

    During the winter there are plenty of scarcer ducks too, including pintail and the odd scaup, the latter requiring a bit of experience to pick out from the far commoner tufted ducks.

    Springtime is when many migrants species pass through the area. I usually see my first sand martins of the year here and never fail to be excited as they quite literally drop out of the sky straight from their wintering grounds in Africa. A couple of weeks later I usually also see my first swallow and know that summer is just around the corner.

    During the summer months the reserve is full of singing warblers. Sedge and reed warblers around the fringes of the lagoons and chiffchaffs, willow warblers and whitethroats in the bushes.

    Autumn is the best time of year for a rarity to turn up and the list of vagrant birds recorded here is extensive. It is without doubt one of the best places in England for birding and is rivalled only by a few much more well known sites on the north norfolk coast (the opposite side of The Wash) like Titchwell Marsh. My personal rarities that I have seen at Frampton Marsh include White Rumped Sandpiper, Broad Billed Sandpiper and several Black Winged Stilts.

  • Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve
  • Nowadays you will find a large car parking area and a timber built reception building (visible at the left hand side of the above photo) but be warned that access to the reserve is via narrow single track farm roads and the parking area is not tarmaced so this can be messy in bad weather.

    Most RSPB reserves charge an admission fee, which goes towards their upkeep but they are all free to members like myself. Until recently this reserve was always free to everyone but as of the 1st April 2018 a £2 fee has been imposed for non members.

    Inside the reception building there are toilets including one suitable for disabled visitors and there are always staff on hand to advise you about your visit. Hot drinks are also available at a very modest cost, £1 for tea or coffee as of the time of writing and again proceeds go towards the upkeep of the reserve.

    The reception is situated on the edge of one of the large bodies of waters and thus is an ideal place to watch the birds from. Furthermore there is a bird feeding station with nuts, seeds and fat balls directly outside the window. These feeders are always full of tree sparrows and finches, whichcan be viewed at very close range and pose easily for photographs.

    The staff are always happy to point out anything of interest and there are binoculars and telescopes available what you can look through. On the wall there is a sightings board that is updated daily.

    The reception is open between 9.30 am to 4 pm daily and until 5pm during the summer at weekends and on bank holidays.

    Access to Frampton Marsh is however possible at all times so even if the reception is closed it is possible to wander around. There are three bird hides that have always been unlocked when I have visited out of hours.

  • Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve
  • The bulk of the habitat is a mixture of freshwater lagoons that are fringed with Phragmites reed like that shown in the above image.

    Viewing is from either the footpaths or from inside the viewing hides. Other areas are strictly out of bounds to protect the birds, some of which are ground nesting species like Skylark which would otherwise be easily disturbed Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.

    The reserve covers an area of almost 350 acres and also includes grassland, marshland and small wooded areas.

    My typical visit usually take between 2-3 hours and I always begin by visiting the reception first to get an idea of what might be about. I’ve visited many RSPB reserves and find that the staff here are extremely friendly and helpful.

    From the reception I follow the narrow road in a south easterly direction, by turning left as I come out of the reception building. There is a footpath that runs alongside this road although the road isn’t busy as most visitors park in the main car park opposite the reception. You can if you wish drive along here for about half a mile to where it reaches an area that is known as the Old Car Park, but this road is poorly maintained and very uneven so I recommend that you don’t drive down here, also there is limited parking at the end and a tight turning area.

    Long before the Old Car Park, about a third of the way down the road I take a left turn towards the viewing hides. The footpath cuts between the two largest lagoons and in Spring and there are hundreds of noisy black headed gulls, aggressively protecting their nests. Amongst them if you are lucky you might also see much rarer Mediterranean Gulls, which now breed here in ever increasing numbers, amongst the Black Headed Gulls.

    The first hide you will come to is called the 360 hide, named because it has a 360 panoramic view across the water. This is the largest hide and my favourite, with lots of chairs and benches to sit on.

  • Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve
  • The 360 hide is the best place to see Avocets, shown in the above image. These black and white waders have a thin bill that curves upwards to enable it to scoop up tiny crustaceans from the shallow water and they are the symbol; of the RSPB and the very reason for its existence. In the Summer you will see their tiny fluffy chicks.

    The water levels in the lagoons are carefully managed to provide the best habitat possible for the birds. The water levels are controlled by sluice gates and the amount of water can vary dramatically from one day to the next. This is especially important for birds like the Avocet that build a mud nest in the shallow water, which are easily flooded if water levels rise.

  • Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve
  • The next hide that you come to is the Reedbed Hide, this overlooks an area of especially shallow water, shown in the above image.

    From here you quickly reach the footpath that forms the northern boundary of the reserve and you can either turn left and take a circular walk around the shallow lagoons, which will then take you back to the reception / car park area or you can turn right, which is my preferred route.

    This area is especially pretty in the Summer as it is full of wildflowers and there are lots of butterflies and bees.

    You then reach the seawall where a right turn takes you back around the opposite side of the 360 hide.

  • Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve
  • The above photo is looking out from the seawall towards the sea. This area is a saltmarsh and provides a completely different habitat to the freshwater lagoons. It is one of the largest areas of saltmarsh in Europe.

    In the distance you can see The Wash and you can also see the coast of North Norfolk in the distance. The footpath that runs along the seawall is elevated and provides a wonderful view of the whole area.

    This part of the tail is known as the Wash Trail.

  • Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve
  • The above photo is taken from this raised seawall looking down on one of the lagoons. You can see the circular footpath running along the edge of the lagoons.

    There are various different trails that can be taken and some of them are suitable for wheelchair users and I quite often encounter visitors in electric scooters on the flat trails. You could quite easily spend a full day here if you wish, especially if you take a picnic and take advantage of one of the picnic areas..

    If you don’t bring a picnic the nearest place that you will find a decent meal is at the Black Bull Inn in the nearby village of Kirton, about a mile from the reserve. If you are visiting from further afield the nearest accommodation is to be found in Boston where there are also cafes, and plenty of other places to eat.

    I love Frampton Marsh at all times of the year and in all weather conditions. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a love of the outdoors and an interest in nature.



0
quick note by anonymous :

Beautiful

ReviewStream.com
Mick Spicer replies :

Thanks

ReviewStream.com
  • Don't Be Nice. Be Helpful.

The review was published as it's written by reviewer in April, 2018. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 385041663350230/k2311a045/4.5.18
Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms & Conditions
Privacy Policy