Footprints: Wicken Fen's community engagement project

Volunteer talking to group of people about pond creatures in tray

Wicken Fen Nature Reserve has secured funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a community engagement project working in partnership with local community groups. We're looking forward to engaging a wide group of people with nature, well-being and heritage through an exciting programme of activities.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on creating opportunities for local people to access a range of recreational activities. The project began in March 2021 and now the new Community Engagement Officer is working with local partners to develop and deliver outreach activities involving Wicken Fen’s landscape, wildlife, archaeology and cultural heritage.

Footprints across the landscape

The project takes inspiration from the stories of people whose footprints can still be traced across the landscape, connecting us with our heritage. Project activities such as community archaeology, nature and heritage walks and tree planting are planned to help communities engage with their local heritage and with the landscape on their doorstep.

Ways to get involved

Keep an eye on this page as the project progresses as we'll be adding more information about activities and volunteering.

Forthcoming activities

Fairs, Feasts and Festivals

We are working in partnership with the Farmland Museum to engage local communities with the historical and natural heritage of the fen landscape. Come and say hello to the Wicken Fen team at your local event:

Reach Fair - Monday 2 May

Ely Eel Fair - Sunday 5 June

Waterbeach Feast - Saturday 11 June

Burwell Carnival - Saturday 25 June

Soham Pumpkin Fair - Saturday 24 September

Vision Festival - Saturday 8 October

Learn about the historic fen landscape
People visiting a fair stall
Learn about the historic fen landscape

 

Community Archaeology

We have been training 11 community archaeology volunteers and the first archaeology activity was field walking at Rand Drove in the wider reserve. The team made an exciting find, a Mesolithic microlith, probably used as a point or barb on an arrowhead, dating between c. 9000 and 7000BC / c. 11000 and 9000 years ago.

A Mesolithic microlith found in a dig at Wicken Fen
Mesolithic microlith Archeaological find at Wicken Fen
A Mesolithic microlith found in a dig at Wicken Fen

Tree Planting

1000 trees were planted by members of the fen edge communities at White Fen and Oily Hall in the wider reserve. These areas of community woodland will be cared for with the help of local people at regular tree care sessions. Trees were provided by the Woodland Trust and in partnership with the National Trust's Blossom Together project.

Trees being planted by members of the fen edge communities
Tree planting at Wicken Fen
Trees being planted by members of the fen edge communities

Nature and Heritage Walks

Watch this space for more details of our new community walks programme starting this spring.