Wicken Fen Autumn

Enjoy the low rays of autumn sun bathing Wicken Fen in its soft glow. See the unique fen foliage change colour, hear the hum of late flying dragonflies, and look out for the arrival of autumn migrants.

Walking

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. You'll need to pre-book in advance to visit the Boardwalk and Woodland Walk on Sedge Fen to avoid disappointment, particularly at busier times such as weekends and bank holidays. However, where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary.

Cycling

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

Nature

Late summer insects

September and October are great months to see late flying dragonflies such as migrant hawker and ruddy darter, and you could also spot red-eyed and willow emerald damselflies.  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

Baker’s Fen’s wet grasslands are home to some of our grazing herds of konik ponies and highland cattle. This area is 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