Wicken Fen Autumn

Catch the last of the summer sun bathing Wicken Fen in its warm glow. See the unique fen foliage change colour, hear the hum of late flying dragonflies, and look out for the arrival of autumn migrants.

The fen colours are beginning to change as the reeds’ feathery spikes soften to a golden brown that catches the low rays of the late summer sun.

Enjoy a gentle stroll around the all-weather boardwalk, explore our Woodland Walk, or head out for a longer walk on the Adventurers’ trail or beyond.

Take a spin through the wider reserve, local villages, or cycle the Lodes Way to Anglesey Abbey.  Bring your own wheels or hire one of our bikes

Our boat trips offer a more leisurely pace as our boat the Mayfly takes you along the Wicken Lode through the lush green fen landscape. 

Late summer insects

September and October are great months to see late flying dragonflies such as the migrant hawker and ruddy darter, while red-eyed and willow emerald damselflies can also be found.  Most dragonflies and damselflies enjoy the habitats near the waterways at Wicken Fen, such as the Wicken Lode and Monk's Lode, but the high bank pathway across Baker’s Fen is also a good place to try, as the ditch is also a popular habitat.

Orb and wasp spiders are beginning to breed during the late summer and early autumn.  These amazing creatures create spectacular webs; the orb spider builds a new web each day while the wasp spider has a distinctive zig zag strip running through the centre of its web.

Female Wasp spider at Wicken Fen.
Female Wasp spider at Wicken Fen, Ely, Cambridge
Female Wasp spider at Wicken Fen.

Migrant birds

The Baker’s Fen hide overlooks wet grasslands, home to our some of our grazing herds of Konik ponies and Highland cattle.  It’s also a great place to look out for migrant wildfowl who arrive in autumn ready to spend the winter at Wicken Fen.

Wigeon arrive from late August onwards, with redwings and fieldfares following in September. 

Short-eared owls and hen harriers can arrive anytime from September onwards.  The best place to look for short-eared owls is Burwell Fen, while hen harriers can be seen regularly from the Visitor Centre as they hover over the Sedge Fen looking for a place to roost.

Reeds at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire
Reeds at Wicken Fen by John Miller
Reeds at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire