The Waveney and its valley are renowned for an excellent variety of flora and fauna. The 55 miles of the river have numerous access points and some superb wildlife reserves. The main organisation managing these reserves is the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
Carlton Marshes lies in the Waveney Valley at the southern tip of the Norfolk Broads and is part of the Suffolk Broads. It comprises over 120 acres of grazing marsh, fens and peat pools. It is the Broads in miniature. Flower studded marshes drained by a system of dykes and grazed by cattle in summer, creates a paradise for marsh land birds and birds of prey including the hobby and marsh harrier. Water vole may be seen in and around the dykes along with special plants including the rare and protected water soldier.
Redgrave & Lopham Fen is the largest remaining river valley fen in England and the source of the River Waveney.
As one of the most important wetlands in Europe, Redgrave and Lopham Fen now has international protection. As well as open fen the reserve includes a mixture of wet heathland, open water, scrub and woodland. The underlying acid and alkaline geology has resulted in characteristic wildlife including many species now rare in Britain.
Tucked away down a little lane just a mile or so from the busy town of Diss is the wonderful Roydon Fen. Poised on the edge of the Waveney Valley, the fen is another remarkably intact remnant of the more extensive wetland that once dominated the valley.