Wicken Fen Vision

The Wicken Fen Vision is an ambitious project to create a landscape scale nature reserve stretching from Wicken Fen to the edge of Cambridge, creating new habitats for both wildlife and humans.

Wicken Fen was the very first nature reserve owned by the National Trust and has been in our care since 1899.

For more than 100 years we've worked hard to protect the rare species that live at Wicken through intensive management of the fen habitats. This has become increasingly difficult and by the late 20th Century it had become clear we could not protect this unique place because the nature reserve was just too small & too isolated.

In 1999, we launched the Wicken Fen Vision, a 100 year plan to extend the reserve from Wicken to the outskirts of Cambridge, covering an area of 5300 sq hectares. 

Our aim is to buy land as and when it comes up for sale, and restore it to fen and wetland habitat. We gradually raise water levels and use herds of free roaming konik ponies and highland cattle, as part of an extensive grazing programme to create new habitats. The breeds were specifically chosen for the ability to thrive in wetland conditions.

An important part of the Vision is too provide space for humans to enjoy for leisure and recreation, in an area of the country which is undergoing rapid development and which has very little public accessible countryside.  

In recent years, we've created the Lodes Way, a cycleway from Wicken to Anglesey Abbey, with onward connections to Cambridge to the South and Ely to the North. This route now forms part of National Cycle Route No.11.