Hopton Fen nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Hopton Fen nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Hopton Fen nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Hopton Fen Nature Reserve

This is a gem of a site for the fen enthusiast. The waterlogged peat allows unique plants and animals to flourish.

Location

Nethergate Street, Hopton
Diss
Suffolk
IP22 2QZ

OS Map Reference

TL990796
A static map of Hopton Fen Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
15 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Walking trails

Soft & wet. Avoid fen peat which has deep holes

View walking trail map

Access

There are ‘Radar’ locks on the gates, but access is only available for the very determined. Ground conditions can be soft and uneven

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to September

About the reserve

Located within walking distance of Market Weston Fen, the footpath into the reserve slopes gently into a world of waterlogged peat and bristling stands of saw sedge, reed and rushes. Although protected from drainage by the Hopton Combined Charities, the lack of demand for fen products such as sedge and reed led to a slow scrubbing over that impacted on traditional plant communities. But following woodland clearance and the introduction of grazing to restore and maintain an open fenland landscape, rare fen-dependent species have begun to reappear.

In spring, look out for black bog rush, southern, marsh fragrant and early marsh orchid, adder’s tongue fern, twayblade and bogbean, while hemp agrimony and the azure blue Devil’s-bitscabious flower later in the season. Shallow pools created by peat cutting were one of the richest fen environments and while there is no longer a demand for peat turfs for heating and cooking, the Trust is recreating the habitat by excavating new pools. These turf ponds have been rapidly colonised by fascinating species such as the insect-munching bladderwort and strange aquatic plants with ‘skeletons’, called stoneworts. The reserve is a hotspot for birds too, with breeding nightingale, sedge and reed warbler and flocks of redwing in the autumn.

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)