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14 days ago

Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

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Wicken Fen, which is a few miles south of Ely in Cambridgeshire, is Britain’s oldest nature reserve, being cared for by the National Trust since 1899. It comprises 254 hectares of fen and reedbeds and is a rare survivor of the wetland wilderness that once covered virtually the whole of East Anglia.

The importance of the site can be seen from the fact that it is a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation, and a RAMSAR site – this being an international wetland designation.

For centuries, the site was managed by sedge-cutting and peat-digging to create a habitat that is rich in wildlife, particularly invertebrates. It is an important site for molluscs, water and other beetles, caddis flies, spiders and bees.

Bird species are regularly seen here include great crested grebe, snipe, reed warbler and bittern.

There are several open water areas within the Fen that attract water birds, and hides are available from which these can be seen and photographed. There are miles of tracks and boardwalks that connect the hides and other features of interest.

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