Wicken Fen Vision

Wicken Fen

The Wicken Fen Vision is an ambitious plan to create a diverse landscape for wildlife and people stretching from Wicken Fen to the edge of Cambridge

The first two acres of Wicken Fen were purchased by the National Trust for £10. We have been looking after this special place, home to over 9,000 species, since 1899.

Less than 1% of original fen survives in East Anglia, of which Wicken Fen is a fragment.  Despite growing to 358 hectares, the nature reserve was too small and isolated to guarantee the survival of all of its rare and numerous species, and under pressure from the increasing numbers of people seeking its peace and tranquillity.

Wicken Fen Vision milestones
Wicken Fen Vision milestones
Wicken Fen Vision milestones
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First crane chick arrives at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

A​ common crane chick has hatched at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire for the first time since we acquired the nature reserve in 1899 and started species records. What makes this breeding success all the more important is that the common crane is on the UK's amber conservation list and, despite what its name may suggest, is also one of Britain's rarest breeding birds with only around 54 pairs recorded in 2018.

A future vision 

After 100 years of caring for Wicken Fen, it needed an exciting and pioneering plan to take it into the next millennium. Launched in 1999, the Wicken Fen Vision is a 100 year plan to create a diverse landscape for wildlife and people.  An historic landscape that will provide a space to breathe, think and explore for the modern world. By 2099, we will increase the nature reserve around Wicken Fen to an area of 53 square kilometres.

By restoring natural processes, careful management of water and grazing will allow the land to evolve a mosaic of habitats for a wide variety of abundant wildlife.  People will be able to enjoy access and recreation opportunities across a beautiful, tranquil wilderness, with opportunities for volunteering, education and interpretation.

Since 1999 we have more than doubled the size of the nature reserve and created the Lodes Way, an eight mile cycleway and footpath between Wicken Fen and Anglesey Abbey which forms part of the National Cycle Network route 11.

Family groups of Konik ponies and Highland cattle range freely over large areas. The Wicken Fen visitor centre, bicycle hire, guided boat trips and our back to basics campsite are some of the ways visitors can engage with and learn about the landscape of the Wicken Fen Vision.

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Wildlife thriving in Cambridgeshire - a fenland oasis at Wicken Fen nature reserve

Wicken Fen near Cambridge was the very first nature reserve owned by the National Trust and has been in our care since 1899. Find out how we plan to care for this rich oasis of wildlife, with more than 9,300 recorded as living in this unique and special landscape. The Wicken Fen Vision is an ambitious plan to create a diverse landscape for wildlife and people stretching from Wicken Fen to the edge of Cambridge for the next 100 years.

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