Woodwalton Fen is at the end of Chapel Road in Ramsey Heights village (Sat Navs may list 'Heights Drove Road').
Peaceful walks and wildlife spotting - in particular birds. A great example of what the wild fens may have looked like.
500 acres (208 hectares)
Cattle may be grazing at Woodwalton Fen throughout the year.
Turn right before the entrance to the nature reserve for free parking along the Great Raverley drain. Not suitable for coaches.
Blue badge holder parking: Blue badge holder parking is available to book in the staff car park, usually open 8am - 4pm, Monday to Friday. Please contact Craig Bellwood (site manager) to arrange.
Contact us for more information
Explore peaceful paths through the reeds, hear the calls of birds and watch dragonflies dart along the water's edge. Woodwalton Fen is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers, and a window into a lost world.
The ancient wild fens once stretched for miles across a huge part of East Anglia but more than 99% of the habitat disappeared when the land was drained for agriculture. Woodwalton Fen is one of the last fragments of this ancient fen to survive.
This beautiful reserve is internationally important and provides a refuge for thousands of species of fen animals and plants, many of which are found nowhere else in the country. It is a National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar site and a Special Area of Conservation. Woodwalton Fen is managed by Natural England.
With its reedbeds, woodland, meres and wildflower meadows, Woodwalton Fen shows us what the Great Fen might look in the future.
Please note that no dogs except assistance dogs are allowed in Woodwalton Fen.
As you enter this beautiful nature reserve with its grass paths, tranquil waterways, meadows, reedbed and woodland, you are surrounded by stunning wildlife.
This relatively small reserve provides a home for thousands of species, and is recognised nationally and internationally for its importance to wildlife. Take a look at the Wildlife of Woodwalton Fen page to find out more about the amazing species and habitats that can be seen at this reserve.
There are several waymarked trails at Woodwalton Fen taking in the key features of the site, including the Rothschild Bungalow, Great Fen view and bird hides. They are all on wide grass paths that can be muddy and undulating, depending on the time of year and weather. A view over the Great Fen can be seen from the west bank, which has access via steps or grass ramps (the ramps are approximately 15 metres, fairly steep, gradient 1 in 9).
There are no steps, stiles or gates along paths on the main trails, although occasionally you will find gates blocking access when cattle are being moved or are grazing. To find out more detailed information about the trails at Woodwalton Fen visit the Woodwalton Fen interactive map.
Woodwalton Fen is now one of only four remaining fragments of the ancient fens. It would not exist if it were not for Charles Rothschild, successful banker and wildlife enthusiast. Rothschild bought Woodwalton Fen in 1910 to ensure that at least one part of the ancient fens would not disappear forever. It was one of the first nature reserves in Britain. Find out more about the history of Woodwalton Fen.
During the late 1960's - mid 1980's the Middle level Commissioners implemented proposals for an improved farmland drainage system locally, in the process designating Woodwalton Fen NNR as a flood storage reservoir. As part of the agreement with MLC the Nature Conservancy Council allowed MLC to construct clay cored banks on the reserve boundary, an act that significantly improved water retention on the reserve with huge benefits for the wetland habitats and species. The clay for the banks was obtained by stripping the peat on the two Mere sites, then excavating the underlying clay and transporting it to the reserve boundaries by a light railway that was installed for the purpose.
Rothschild Mere was completed in 1972 and Gordon's Mere in 1982. The two open water bodies added a new dimension to the reserve and greatly enhanced the birdlife, with the likes of Little and Great Crested Grebe, Coot and Tufted Duck soon colonising and increased habitat for water plants and especially dragonflies.
Darlow's Farm was the first area of Great Fen land to begin to be restored in 2004. Follow paths in Woodwalton Fen north (right as you enter), all the way to the north bank, on the edge of the reserve. From the bank there are great views over this new wet meadow, which has nesting and hunting Barn Owls and Kestrels, as well as wading birds such as Lapwing and Snipe. From there you may see Highland and other cattle and also the location of Darlow's Cottage, currently being rebuilt at Ramsey Rural Museum.
Take a look at Darlow's and Middle Farm page for more information.
This is set in a small Wildlife Trust reserve just half a mile from Woodwalton Fen. The Wildlife Trust Countryside Centre page has more information.
This opened in March 2013 and is situated a carpark alongside the B660. There are maps and information about the Great Fen and you can walk around some of the previously cultivated fields that are now being restored. Details are here.
Further away, past the Information Point, lies this spectacular National Nature Reserve. Take a look at the Visit Holme Fen page for more information.