Enjoy Autumn Days at Dunwich Heath

Autumn Chestnuts at Dunwich Heath

The nights may be drawing in, but there’s plenty to do and see during those shorter autumnal days, and even the twilight hours bring their own seasonal treats!

Dartford Warbler at Dunwich Heath
Dartford Warbler at Dunwich Heath

Discover autumn bird watching

The autumn migration brings a wealth of birdwatching opportunities along the Suffolk coast. We say goodbye to summer migrants, such as Nightjars, Sandmartins and Hobbies, and welcome winter visitors including Meadow Pipits, Redwing and Fieldfare. Watch out for special birds of prey too – Hen Harriers and Short Eared Owls are sometimes spotted across the heath. Flocks of Barnacle Geese returning from their daytime feeding grounds are a sure sign that autumn has arrived. Their haunting calls fill the dusk air as they skirt along the shoreline and come to rest on the Minsmere Levels. You may also be lucky enough to watch Starlings gathering in huge numbers on autumn evenings. The vast flock, or ‘murmuration’, swirls over the reedbeds often forming mesmerizing patterns before settling in to roost amongst the reeds.

Red Deer hinds on Dunwich Heath
Red Deer at Dunwich Heath, Suffolk

Autumn wildlife wonders

The autumn deer rut is underway as Red Deer stags gather the females, or hinds, together and defend them from other males. The stags can be heard roaring throughout the breeding season between September and November and you may be lucky enough to spot groups of deer on the heath.

Fly Agaric
Fly Agaric toadstool at Dunwich Heath

Enjoy an autumn stroll

There are walks to suit everyone at Dunwich Heath! Choose a path through beautiful autumn woodland, a mile of unspoilt beach or stunning open heathland with slopes of golden bracken.
Hedgerows laden with berries, acorns and chestnuts attract a wide variety of wildlife, and look out for spectacular fungi, including bright red fly agaric toadstools and huge parasol mushrooms. Drop into our Visitor Information Hut and borrow a map, or download a ‘Property Map’ from our home page to bring with you!

Pond dipping at Dunwich Heath
Family fun and pond dipping at Dunwich Heath

Half Term family fun!

Explore the great outdoors this half term! You can find out all sorts of fun facts about Dunwich Heath with our trails, or borrow one of our GPS units and have a go at Geocaching! If you haven’t discovered our ‘50 things to do before you are 11 ¾’ then autumn is a good time to start. Our 50 outdoor adventures will help youngsters make the most of their visit and inspire a love for the natural world. Pick up a ‘50 Things’ fun scrapbook from our Visitor Hut and start collecting stickers for each activity you complete. Our team will be on hand to help you try out activities such as pond dipping, bug hunting, den building or wild art on Wednesday 25th October and weekends during half term.

A warm welcome awaits you in the Coastguard Cottages Tea Room, so why not treat yourself to a cream tea with freshly baked scones or scrumptious homemade cake to round off your visit? Don’t miss our ‘Pieathalon’ on Saturday 21st October and Sunday 22nd October, we’re planning two fun-filled days of delicious pies and children's activities! See our ‘What’s On’ page for more details.

Whatever the weather, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Dunwich Heath this autumn.