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Helicopter crash - the marsh area where it went down

23:11 07 January 2014

The Cley and Salthouse marshes seen from the air after last month

The Cley and Salthouse marshes seen from the air after last month's floods. Photo: Mike Page

© Copypright Mike Page, All Rights Reserved Before any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast,

Cley and Salthouse marshes are world-renowned as a nature haven teaming with wildlife, especially birds.

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Migrant waders flock to an area which is boasts more than 200 species of birds.

It is also a Mecca for birders who enjoy spotting the resident and visiting birds at the coastal wilderness all year round.

The area is a mixture of marsh, lagoons, reedbeds and footpaths.

A fragile shingle bank separates the marshes from the North Sea, whose raw power has recently punched holes in the natural sea wall, swamping the area with salty water.

When the sea regularly overtops a gridiron of man-made ditches, set among the natural delights, aim to provide a plughole to wash out the nature haven and restore its freshwater pools.

The area is know for avocets, godwits, little and common terns, bitterns, marsh harriers and snow buntings.

Winter birders also see pink-footed geese, from Greenland and Iceland and migrate towards north-west Europe, and brent geese from America.

The area is run by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Cley was its, and the nation’s, first ever nature reserve, bought by a dozen founders for £5,100 in 1926.

A major appeal recently reached its target to enable a missing link piece of land between Cley and Salthouse to be bought to connect the two havens and provide a new education centre in a £2.6m scheme.

Salthouse is also known for Cookie’s Crabshop restaurant and nearby Dun Cow Pub, while nearby Cley has a smattering of quality shops including a delicatessen and art gallery.

The area is not known for breaking news stories, except for when the sea breaks through its sea defences.

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