National Trust Wicken Fen

The National Trust manages Wicken Fen which is one of the most important surviving areas of wetland in western Europe. It has been managed traditionally for centuries by sedge-cutting and peat-digging, which have produced a unique fenland habitat rich in wildlife, particularly insects. 1000 species of moth and butterfly, 1000 species of beetle, almost 2000 different flies, 20 dragonflies, 29 mammals and over 200 species of bird have been recorded on the fen. The heart of the place is Wicken Sedge Fen, on the north side of Wicken Lode, an area that has never been drained. This makes it a unique remnant of the once extensive fenland of East Anglia, which is now largely given over to intensive arable farming. The reserve also covers areas on the south side of Wicken Lode, encompassing Adventurers’ Fen, the Mere and Priory Farm (Baker’s Fen). These have been drained and cultivated in the past, notably during the Second World War, but are now managed for nature conservation. The result is a patchwork of habitats, each attracting different populations of plants and animals, and each requiring a different approach.