Wicken Fen wildlife walk


This easy trail explores a fragment of the wilderness that once covered East Anglia. It is the National Trust’s oldest nature reserve and home to many plants and insects, plus rare birds like bittern, and mammals, like otter.

Discover our oldest nature reserve

Only 0.1% of Britain’s fenland remains un-drained. Wicken Fen is the most accessible remnant of this habitat.

Konik ponies at Wicken Fen galloping towards the camera


Map route for Wicken Fen wildlife walk


Wicken Fen National Trust Visitor Centre, grid ref: TL563705


Take a look in the Visitor Centre to find out more about the wildlife and history of Wicken Fen. As you exit, Wicken Lode is on your right. Follow the path keeping the water to your right. You will pass some ash trees and Wickens Poor Fen on your left. This is common land. Traditionally local villagers had the right to collect sedge and peat from here.


Cross Monks Lode at Normans Bridge. Look out for plants like arrowhead and water lilies. Turn left after the bridge.

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A Male Brimstone Butterfly on a dandelion at Wicken Fen


Walk along Monks Lode, then turn right through the lower set of gates.


Note the two hides on your right. Look out for birds like wigeon, teal and shoveler in winter and lapwing and redshank in summer on the flooded fields; and for Konik ponies and highland cattle.

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Konik ponies at Wicken Fen galloping towards the camera


Turn right along the next path, and on your right is the site of Normans Mill. Originally used to drain the turf (peat) pits. Spot the windpump which is now restored on Sedge Fen. On your left, roe deer can often be seen aswell. During the Second World War Dig for Victory campaign, the war office turned the fen into arable land. Restoration of the area is now being carried out.

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Wicken Fen Windpump in Autumn


Note the reedbeds on your left and the many birds and insects inhabiting them. Turn right again to walk alongside Wicken Lode. There is a squeeze gap and path on the right leading to West Mere Hide, used to overlook the meres west end and the island.

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A Wicken black-winged Stilt


Continue on to a hide which has views across the whole mere.

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A Dragonfly at Wicken Fen


Cross back over Normans Bridge and return towards the Visitor Centre.


Wicken Fen National Trust Visitor Centre, grid ref: TL563705

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Wicken Fen wildlife walk


A well-signed route along wide grassy paths (can be muddy). There are many other routes at Wicken Fen, including a Boardwalk Trail, accessible for wheelchairs, year round. See leaflet in visitor centre. Take care near waterways and ponds. Dogs on leads welcome. Please clean up after your dog.

Wicken Fen wildlife walk

Contact us

Wicken Fen wildlife walk

How to get here

Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Lode Lane, Wicken, CB7 5XP
By train

Ely train station (9 miles or 15km from Wicken Fen).

By road

Wicken Fen is 17 miles (27km) NE of Cambridge and 3 miles (5km) W of Soham, just off A1123.

By bus

No.12 from Cambridge-Ely (alight Soham High St, then 3 miles (5km) on footpaths to Wicken).

By bicycle

National Cycle Network route 11 passes the reserve boundary: www.sustrans.org.uk.

Wicken Fen wildlife walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking: 120 yds. £2.50 Non-member 2013. NT members free.
  • Food and drink: Cafe serving soup. 'Fen Docky' and cake. Picnics welcome.
  • Shop: Selling local crafts and wildlife books.
  • WC's: In visitor centre.
  • Cycle hire.