Support the herd at Wicken Fen

Highland cattle and Konik ponies are helping to create new habitats for rare wetland plants and wildlife at Wicken Fen. We need your help to look after this grazing herd, that will in turn ensure these rare species thrive.

The grazing herd of konik ponies at Wicken Fen
Konik ponies in the distance with the sun setting and the mist rolling in

Creating a home for nature at Wicken Fen 

At the end of the last century it was clear that the nature reserve was too small to support all the species that wanted to make Wicken Fen their home, unless drastic action was taken to help them. So, in 1999 we launched the Wicken Fen Vision, a plan to greatly expand the nature reserve to around 5300 hectares over a 100 year period.

A wetland habitat for wildlife

  • Wicken Fen was the first nature reserve in the care of the National Trust
  • It's home to over 9,000 species the most of any reserve in Britain
  • This fenland landscape is one of the most important wetlands in Europe
Two konik ponies at Wicken Fen

Konik ponies and Highland cattle

Konik ponies and Highland cattle were chosen as the best breeds to graze the reserve at Wicken Fen. If you were wondering why that was, it's because they're hardy breeds that can cope in the extremes of weather, are ideally suited to wetland environments and have a friendly temperament.

Donate to Support the herd at Wicken Fen

Please select an amount

£24 will buy three metres of fencing to keep our herds safe
£40 will help fund daily welfare checks of the grazing herds
£60 will cover the annual veterinary support for each animal
Or enter your own amount
Video

Wicken Fen ranger gives rare insight into the lives of the grazing Konik herd

One of our rangers gives a rare insight into the lives of the grazing herd of Konik ponies at Wicken Fen. Find out who is boss when it comes to leading the pack.

Looking after a lost landscape

Sedge Fen

A precious habitat

Wicken Fen is one of Europe's most important wetlands. A unique remnant of un-drained fenland that once covered the vast lowlands of East Anglia, today only a few square kilometres of this habitat survives and its significance is recognised throughout the world.

Highland cow grazing on Verall's Fen

Grazing for wildlife

We use free roaming herds of Konik ponies and Highland cattle to help graze 300 hectares of land for wildlife at Wicken Fen. 36 Highland cows and 91 Konik ponies, help to keep the landscape open and enable wetland and grassland plants to become established.

Fen violet

Where fauna and flora flourish

It's not just the herds grazing that's important in creating a mosaic of habitats for wildlife. Their hoof action on the ground provides seeding opportunities for flowering plants and their dung returns nutrients to the soil and feeds more invertebrate species as it decays.

" The Wicken Fen Vision is one of largest habitat restoration projects being undertaken in lowland Britain. Our restoration approach allows for the natural regeneration of plants and habitats and our free roaming herds play a key part in this process and ongoing management."
- Martin Lester, Countryside Manager

Why give to the National Trust?

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of supporters to look after the outdoor spaces in our care. Not only do our supporters help to conserve beautiful landscapes and protect precious plants and wildlife. But they also ensure that future generations have places they can find freedom from everyday life, reconnect with the natural world and make memories to treasure. Your donation will go towards this project and other vital conservation work in the outdoors at this special place. With your support, we can continue to protect the irreplaceable. For ever, for everyone.

Donate now to support the herd at Wicken Fen