Thelnetham Fen Nature Reserve

Thelnetham Fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Reed bunting - Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Reed bunting - Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Thelnetham fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Sedge Warbler by Paddy Shaw
Hobby - Amy Lewis

Hobby - Amy Lewis

Thelnetham fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Thelnetham Fen Nature Reserve

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


Fen Lane, Thelnetham
IP22 1JX

OS Map Reference

A static map of Thelnetham Fen Nature Reserve

Know before you go

9 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals

Cattle and ponies graze the fen.

Walking trails

Ground conditions are soft and the paths uneven and narrow in places. Can be muddy.

Trail map


Not suitable for wheelchairs.

No drone flying without express permission.
(Permission will only be granted in exceptional circumstances)

If you'd like to visit this reserve as a group, please contact us in advance.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to September

About the reserve

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.

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

Natura 2000
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map