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Thelnetham Fen

A beautiful remnant of the wetland landscape that once swept along this valley, Thelnetham Fen feels bigger than its 20 water-filled acres.

Hunkered next to the meandering flows of the Little Ouse, a circular walk of about 1 mile takes in the saw sedge and black bog rush of Middle Fen, the wet woodland of Old Fen and a section of the reed-fringed river.

Although this quiet spot is a rewarding visit at any time of year it is in the spring and summer, it really bursts into life, with breath-taking displays of wildflowers including the bewitching sight of the rare grass-of-Parnassus in the calcium-rich spring flushes.

Shallow scrapes that mimic the turf-ponds traditionally formed by peat cutting support plants such as marsh lousewort and yellow sedge, while the reed bed provides ideal nesting habitat for migrant birds such as sedge, grasshopper and reed warblers as well as resident reed buntings.

The mating displays of drumming woodcock are also regularly seen at this reserve, as are the feathered arrow of hobby chasing dragonflies over the fen – transferring its prey from talons to beak while flying at break-neck speeds.

Thelnetham Fen trail map - click to view

Species and habitats

Grass-of-Parnassus, Snipe

Nearby nature reserves

Hopton Fen
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Market Weston Fen
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Redgrave & Lopham Fen
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Fen Lane, Thelnetham
IP22 1JX
Map reference

GPS Info
Follow brown signs to Thelnetham Windmill heading north along Mill road. Take second right in to Fen Lane. Footpath heads north from road.

Great for...
spring flowers
Best time to visit
May - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
8.80 hectares

Walking information
Ground conditions are soft and the paths uneven and narrow in places. Can be muddy
Park in Thelnetham village
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Cattle and ponies graze the fen
Reserve manager
Richard Young
Tel: 01379 687618


Factsheets and guides for your visit