Market weston fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Market Weston Fen by Steve Aylward

Market weston fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Market weston fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Market weston fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Market weston fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Market Weston Fen Nature Reserve

There is something special about Market Weston Fen.

Location

Fen Street, Hopton
Diss
Suffolk
IP22 2RF

OS Map Reference

TL983789
A static map of Market Weston Fen Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
37 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Grazing animals

Cattle and ponies graze the fen

Walking trails

Can be quite wet in places

View  trail map

Access

The gates have ‘Radar’ locks but access is not easy, with uneven, soft ground and a step at either end of a narrow footbridge giving access to the fen.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to September

About the reserve

A wildlife paradise home to a dizzying array of some 250 flowering plants, scores of butterfly, invertebrates and animals, it is a must visit place for anyone wishing to study or simply enjoy a quiet landscape that drips with life. A circular trail takes in most of the reserve’s 91 acres, past grassland, dykes, scrub and fen and up on to higher sandy ground that offers a view that has remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years.

Although exploited by man for sedge, reeds and peat, Suffolk’s valley fens like Market Weston remained largely intact until the 18th century when river engineering and drainage started to shape the valleys. Bit by bit the fens became fragmented and the rise of intensive agriculture soon left once connected and rich wetland as isolated fens, strung like a beautiful necklace around the throat of north Suffolk. Lying in a shallow valley carved by the tributary of the Little Ouse, Market Weston Fen avoided the onslaught of 20th century damage with the same chalk springs feeding it now as more than 1,000 years ago.

In fact one of the joys of this reserve is the sounds as well as the sights, the quiet song of soughing reeds, the bubble of water and the papery rustle of dragonfly wings. In the summer look out for the pale flowers of early marsh orchid and grass-of-Parnasses, along with other rarities such as common butterwort and the exotic blooms of marsh fragrant orchid.

Market Weston Fen benefitted from a gift in the will of David Feavearyear.  

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

Natura 2000
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map