Frampton Marsh is a nature reserve near Boston run by the RSPB, where on a good day you may hear a chorus of skylarks high over wet grassland, watch aerobatic displays by lapwings or even see brown hares using the fields as boxing rings in the mating season.
Having spent a few bracing hours out there last weekend, and despite a gale-force wind and some soggy socks (my fault, unsuitable footwear!) I can recommend this intriguing patch of wilderness, only a few miles from Woodhall Spa.
The reserve has recently been upgraded, with a major new extension which includes a reedbed, large freshwater scrapes and wet grassland, all created to bring the wildlife of the Wash closer to visitors.
New facilities include a visitor centre with toilets and a refreshments area where you can get a hot or cold drink and a snack. When we went the centre was buzzing with volunteers and visitors, and we could even have a go on one of the telescopes mounted in front of the panoramic observation window.
There are also three hides – two with 360-degree views – and over 3 km of new footpaths to explore. We walked along the top of the dyke which looks out to sea over the marshes, returning via one of the well-appointed hides.
Despite its remoteness, the reserve is quite easy to find. We took the back roads round Boston and crossed the A16 at Kirton, heading east toward the Wash, through Frampton village, where the reserve is signposted.
The reserve, car park, footpaths and hides are open at all times. From November to February, the visitor centre and toilets are open from 9.30 am to 4 pm daily (except for Christmas Day). From March to October the visitor centre and toilets are open from 9.30 am to 4 pm weekdays, and 9.30 am to 5 pm at weekends and bank holidays.
Access is free to the reserve, the hides and the visitor centre and there is no charge for parking, but the RSPB appreciate a donation to help their volunteers continue their work there. Last word – make sure you wear waterproof boots!