Marazion Marsh Nature Reserve
Tread softly, move quietly and look all around, you never know what you might see. Cornwall’s largest reedbed, Marazion Marsh is the perfect place to glimpse some of the county’s most intriguing wildlife.
Only half a mile along the coast from us, Marazion Marsh takes in views of St Michael’s Mount and the bay. Actually making up part of St Michael’s Way walk (link), you can easily reach the marshes from the town or beach, or park your car along the side of the road nearby. Often overlooked by visitors and tourists alike, the site provides unfettered access to raw natural beauty and is definitely worth a visit, whether you are an avid bird-watcher or simply want to admire the scenery.
Free to the public Marazion Marsh is made up of wetland features, willow scrub and grassland, all protecting its precious reedbed. Home to a number of different wetland birds, it draws both resident and seasonal birds to the area, including some endangered species too. Looked after by the RSPB, the reserve is really important for conservation (a designated SSSI) and more than 250 bird, 500 plant, 500 insect and 18 mammal species have been recorded.
Featuring two viewing areas, you can rest a spell overlooking the sanctuary area pools and reedbeds along the seafront pavement, or head to the second viewing area facing the front of the reedbed. On sunny days, you can be forgiven for momentarily closing your eyes to soak in the sunshine, but make sure you don’t shut them for too long! Feathered bodies of all shapes and sizes zip and flutter around the reserve, although some are definitely more shy than others.
If you visit in spring, see if you can spot some of the marshes’ bitterns, and in summer keep your eyes peeled for the rare aquatic warblers. In autumn, spy egrets regally stalking through pools like prehistoric throwbacks and in winter try and catch the fantastic murmurations of starlings, twisting and dancing in the sky. With so much life, you can return to the marshes throughout the year and always find something fascinating to look at amongst the flooded planes and wiry reeds.
If you plan on visiting, we recommend a good pair of binoculars and a blanket and flask of hot tea for chillier days. Access is free, although a donation is welcomed at your discretion. Once you’ve sufficiently rosied your cheeks and are ready for more exploring, head back to Marazion or pop over and see us at the Mount for a different vantage point and a bite to eat.