Beccles Marsh Trail:
This popular series of walks explores on area of grazing marsh on the outskirts of Beccles. There are three walks of varying lengths you can choose from, marked clearly on the map and by waymarking arrows.
The marsh is owned by Beccles Town Council and was given to the people of Beccles by Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1584, in recognition of the town’s importance as a trading centre for the woolen industry. At that time, Beccles was on the edge of a huge estuary and it was one of the most important ports in eastern England. The marsh is managed by Beccles Town Council with help from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
Until about 1985, most of Beccles Marshes were grazed by cattle. Since then, however, large areas have been drained so that arable crops like cereals, vegetables, sugar beet and horseradish can be grown. The grazing marshes that remain are a typical feature of the traditional broads landscape. Notice the network of drainage ditches or ‘dykes’ which bisect the grazing marshes. These dykes – which would have been dug by hand – are miniature nature reserves. They contain a wonderful variety of water plants and insects once found throughout the broads. Spring and Summer are lovely times to visit the marshes here when the dykes will be teeming with life.
All kinds of colourful wild flowers fringe the dykes, from the flamboyant reddish-purple displays of purple loosestrife to the tiny blue flowers of branched bur-reed. The sparkling waters of the dykes also contain nationally rare plants like water soldier.
There are a number of different routes to be followed in and around Beccles, read more and access downloads below…