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Celebrating 125 years at Wicken Fen

A panoramic view of Baker's Fen Hide and the water and reeds during golden hour at Wicken Fen
Baker's Fen Hide at Wicken Fen | © Mike Selby

We are looking forward to celebrating our 125th anniversary at Wicken Fen as well as 25 years of the Wicken Fen Vision Project on 1 May 2024. Local communities are warmly invited to join us on Saturday 4 May for a day of celebration. We look forward to welcoming you.

Celebrating 125 years

Wednesday 1 May 2024 marks 125 years since the National Trust acquired its first two acres of land at Wicken Fen. Since 1899, when it became the National Trust's first nature reserve, Wicken Fen has now expanded to over 2,000 acres. Today, it is one of Europe's most important wetlands and home to more than 9,000 species. We are looking forward to a week of celebrations to mark the occasion. We will have dragonfly, birdsong and deep listening walks, pond-dipping and pizza available as well as some summer evening openings. Join us on Saturday 4 May.

25 years of the Vision project

Launched in 1999, the Wicken Fen Vision is a 100-year plan to create a diverse landscape for wildlife, people and carbon; a historic landscape that will provide space in the modern world to breathe, think and explore.

By 2099, we will increase the nature reserve around Wicken Fen to an area of 53 square kilometres – an exciting and pioneering plan to take it into the next millennium.

Wicken Fen Nature Reserve near Wicken Rose Cottage, Cambridgeshire
Sun rising behind the windpump at Wicken Fen | © National Trust Images / Rob Coleman

Join us for a day of celebration

You are warmly invited to join us on Saturday 4 May for a day of celebration. There will be dragonfly, birdsong, peat and deep listening walks, some pond-dipping, pizza in the evening and the opportunity to meet some bird ringers.

Fen Cottage will be open and families and children can join in with some hedgehog crafts in the visitor centre. You might want to hire a bike and go for a cycle ride on the wider reserve or book a boat trip along the Lode. Come and say hello or drop by for a chat in the visitor centre or by our information gazebo. If you'd like to find out more about the Vision project, we will have a film showing in the learning centre on repeat throughout the day. For more event details and timings, please see the upcoming events section of our website.

The visitor centre and boardwalk will be open until 8pm on Saturday 4 May and we will be offering refreshments throughout the day at the Docky Hut Café as well as from our trailer. Pizza will be available from 12:30pm - 8pm too.

The nature trail through Sedge Fen at Wicken Fen
The nature trail through Sedge Fen at Wicken Fen | © National Trust Images / Mike Selby

Deep listening walks

Join audio-visual artist, Kathy Hinde, for some Deep listening walks and open your ears to sounds at Wicken Fen that you don't normally get to experience. Each participant will be supplied with wireless headphones to listen to sounds underground, underwater, inside trees and more! Book onto a walk here.

We need to talk about peat

As part of the Fens East Peat Partnership, we're undertaking large-scale projects to keep our deep peat wet, and to rewet other areas of peat - a vital tool in the fight against climate change. Join our peat expert at Wicken Fen for a guided walk as they explain more about this fantastic resource. There will be two walks on Saturday 4 May at 10:30am and 2pm - the walks are free but booking is essential.

Wetland Diaries book launch

We are delighted to be hosting the book launch for Wetland Diaries: Ranger Life and Rewilding on Wicken Fen, by our very own Ajay Tegala. Join us at the visitor centre at Wicken Fen on Thursday 2 May at 6pm to hear Ajay's stories of life as a ranger at the Fen throughout the seasons. Refreshments will be available and you can also buy a copy of the book and get it signed. Please book a space here.

Summer evening openings

For the first time throughout the summer, we will be keeping the visitor centre and boardwalk open so that you can enjoy Wicken Fen in the evening too. The visitor centre and boardwalk will be open every Thursday until 8pm with a programme of different activities available. It will also be possible to buy refreshments every Thursday to Saturday until 8pm. The visitor centre will only be open late on Thursdays. We will have a dusk chorus walk on Thursday 16 May and some evening boat trips available on certain days - please check our website for more details nearer the time.

Meet the moths

On Sunday 5 May in the morning, some local moth recorders will be doing a 'show and tell' session in front of the visitor centre. Come along to see some beautiful moths, ask questions and find out more about moths at Wicken Fen. We look forward to seeing you there!

Visitors at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire

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Find out when Wicken Fen is open, how to get here, things to see and do and more.