Brading Marshes

Brading Marshes RSPB reserve

Brading Marshes nature reserve is the only Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reserve on the Isle of Wight, England. Situated on the east coast of the Island, behind Bembridge Harbour, it was acquired in 2001 and is a mix of lagoons and ditches, reed beds and meadows, with a fringe of ancient woodland. This marsh is the site of a wetland restoration project by the RSPB.

The land was reclaimed from the sea for agricultural use at the end of the 19th Century. Today, grazing, haymaking and cutting rough vegetation encourage flowers and wetland birds.

In Spring and Summer, lapwing, herons, tufted ducks and shelduck can be seen. Marsh harriers and peregrines can also be seen. During autumn and winter migrating wading birds pass through, joining ducks, geese and wading birds feeding in the pools. The reserve is also home to many insects, plants and other animals.

Currently, visitor access is restricted to a network of footpaths from Brading Town and Bembridge Harbour, which provide attractive views across the reserve's mix of wetlands. There is much work planned to develop the reserve over future years.

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