Our work

Keeping Orford Ness special

Keeping Orford Ness special is a major task. Different areas need different management approaches, and we work hard to allow visitors to enjoy the site safely in ways that preserve the character of the landscape and protect the wildlife. An ongoing effort in collecting stories and research allows us to tell you ever more about the human history of the Ness.

Water levels are monitored carefully on the marshes to provide feeding areas for wading birds and sheep used for grazing these areas to provide the variation in grass height that the birds need to nest.

The fragile shingle habitat requires protection from disturbance; even walking on it causes irreparable damage. To the north of the site fluctuations in the gull colony are monitored and a major project to regenerate salt marsh, a habitat that is shrinking elsewhere in the estuary, continues.

Behind the scenes

  • Maintaining the footpath at the Crouch on Orford Ness 

    Keeping it running

    The Ness is a hostile environment so there's a lot of maintenance and repairs to do.

  • The group Seaweed East surveying marine flora and fauna on Orford Ness © Matthew Guilliatt

    Watching the wildlife

    Surveying and recording the habitats and wildlife is the first step in conserving their future.

  • Examining archive photographs of Orford Ness © Grant Lohoar

    Always learning

    The Ness still holds many secrets.  Discovering and sharing them is an ongoing task.

  • Filming the Seaweed East survey on Orford Ness © Matthew Guilliatt

    Sharing our stories

    From films to magazines, TV to radio, there's a lot to tell and many who want to see and hear.

The Alde-Ore Estuary - a future for wildlife

Digging new ditches to improve the marshland habitat

Digging new ditches to improve the marshland habitat

With the RSPB we embarked on a major project, funded by the European Union and other partners, to secure a sustainable future for wildlife in the Alde-Ore Estuary.

Building in part on the success of two previous EU LIFE programme projects, the marshland habitat has been improved to target bird species on the Ness and on Havergate Island, new coastal lagoons created, and we are working with our neighbours to protect the rare shingle habitat.

Enriching with art

Many artists ask about working on the Ness, loving its unique landscape and history.

Our artists in residence programme allows the creation of artworks each year that are displayed on and off the Ness.

Free to neighbours

In partnership with the Orford Museum and English Heritage at Orford Castle we open the Ness free to residents of the local villages on a Sunday in the summer. Details are circulated in the local parish magazine.


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