Just to the south of the Yare River, Wheatfen Nature Reserve is the creation of the naturalist Ted Ellis, who made his
home here while he was keeper of the natural history collection at Norwich
Castle. He lived in the cottage by the entrance and
was one of the most vocal chroniclers and advocates of the need to preserve the beauty and wildlife of The Broads for future generations to enjoy. He died in 1986, and the marshes
and watery channels of Wheatfen have been a nature reserve ever since. You can do a lovely circular walk down to the river – about an hour in all, more if you linger – that gives you some appreciation of what Ted and his wife Phyllis (who lived here until her
death in 2004) saw in this magical place, as well as striking off on a different path from the entrance to tiny Wheatfen Broad. They also run regular Sunday nature walks and bushcraft sessions – everything from freshwater mussels and medicinal plants to a 'Swallowtail day". Afterwards you can visit the spot where Ted is buried, over towards Surlingham on a hummock overlooking Church Farm Nature Reserve, where he lies next to the ruins of a Norman church.
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