NWT Upton Broad and Marshes

The site is well known for its strong population of Norfolk Hawkers, together with Southern, Brown and Migrant Hawkers. The occasional Common Hawker may also be observed. It is an excellent site to compare the three blue damselflies; Common Blue, Azure and Variable, as well as the two red darters; Common and Ruddy. Other specialties include Hairy Dragonfly and an ever-increasing population of Willow Emerald Damselflies. Over the years a number of migrant species have been recorded here, so you never quite know what might turn up.

Opening times, entry costs, facilities and directions

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Things to see

As you leave the car park you cross a small dyke. After the second such bridge you will see a dragonfly information board. The best route for dragonflies leads off to the right of this board and circles around the original Upton Fen reserve. Hawkers hunt over the open areas or take shelter in the small woodland glade just beyond. Follow the path round to the left as you exit the glade and you will enter an open area beloved by Four-spotted Chasers and many other species. The circuit continues over a short length of boardwalk, then open fen once more. On the far side of the reserve you can take the ‘short route’ back around to the car park or extend your walk up to the viewpoint overlooking Upton grazing marshes, several windpumps and the remains of St Benets Abbey.


Top species

Anaciaeschna isoceles m - © Santiago Monteagudo Campos

Norfolk Hawker

A rare and protected species.

Main flight period is May to August.

Easy to identify because of its bright green eyes.

Image by Santiago Monteagudo Campos



Seasonal Highlights

Large Red Damselfly, Four-spotted Chaser and Hairy Dragonfly are usually the first species to appear in late April or early May. These are soon followed by the blue damselflies, Black-tailed Skimmers and Norfolk Hawkers. By mid-summer most of the resident Norfolk species will be on the wing at Upton, with the last to appear probably being Migrant Hawker.

Image by Paul Ritchie

Contact Information

Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Bewick House
22 Thorpe Road
Norwich, NR1 1RY

T: 01603 625540

NWT Upton Broad and Marshes