Norfolk, Norwich and Waveney Branch



Accessible Venues



Cley Marshes

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust has a new visitor centre at Cley Marshes (thanks to Di Dann for the following information)


The Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre is the brand new facility designed to help visitors explore, discover and be inspired by wildlife. The Aspinall Centre has allowed the NWT to expand and develop their programme of events and it sits beside the NWT Visitor Centre at Cley Marshes in North Norfolk. Both buildings have accessibility and you can sit and enjoy the outlook over the Marshes, either inside or outside. There is disabled parking near to the entrance of the visitor centre with a lift providing access up to the café and the facilities of the Education Centre beyond it. The Centre was opened in May 2014 by Sir David Attenborough.


Reading about Simon Aspinall (1958 – 2011) – “Every now and again someone comes along who touches our lives and makes a difference. Simon Aspinall was one such person. When he died in October 2011, after bravely living with motor neurone disease for four years, the Middle East, and its birds, lost a true friend. He was 53.”


Cley Marshes

Simon’s passion for birds started as a schoolboy in England. Graduating in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, he first visited the Middle East in 1991, stopping off in the United Arab Emirates during one of his world birding trips. Later he was to work there for over 15 years, first for the then National Avian Research Centre and later as an environmental consultant, bringing a wealth of experience from his time with the RSPB and the Nature Conservancy Council, much of it in Scotland. Simon lived for travel. In the Middle East and Central Asia he journeyed to most countries, studying birds, working with UNESCO on plans for nature reserves and taking part in BirdLife International’s surveys on Socotra and helping their programme in Syria training young biologists from Nature Iraq. He was a prolific writer, authoring or co-authoring over 100 papers and books, notably on the Middle East, its birds and ecology. Whilst his main interest was birds, ‘our feathered friends’ he called them, Simon took a keen interest in all of natural history.


Most of all he was courageous, continuing to travel, latterly with sticks and wheelchair, to the Middle East and far-flung corners of the world, never once complaining. That spirit and his contribution to ornithology and conservation is the legacy he left behind and now with this new Centre, it gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy this most special landscape. The photo shows the view of Cley Marshes taken from the Centre.


For more information, telephone 01263 740 008, or visit the website at