This is where you can discover some of the best sites in our region for seeing butterflies.

The list is by no means exhaustive and if you can recommend any other good sites with public access, please email: @email with your suggestions and details.

Barnack Hills & Holes  
Designation  NNR (managed by NE), SAC
Habitat Limestone grassland
Location The reserve is situated in the village of Barnack, 11km (7 miles) north west of Peterborough.
Grid reference TF073048 / Google
Key Species Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White
UKBMS transect Since 1981 - see UKBMS for more details
Transport & Parking Buses from Stamford and Peterborough serve local villages and stop regularly in Barnack. Parking is available at several points close by, although visitors are encouraged to use the car park on Wittering Road.
Notes

The site is open all the year round.

More info from the Natural England website.

Bedford Purlieus  
Designation  NNR (managed by Forestry Commission)
Habitat Ancient Woodland (mainly Oak and Ash)
Location Approximately 12km (7 miles) west of Peterborough and 2km (1 mile) west of the town of Wansford. The reserve is south of the A47, the road forming part of its northern boundary. The woods are accessed via a track going south off the A47.
Grid reference TL040996 / Google
Key Species Black Hairstreak, Silver-washed Fritillary
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Peterborough with regular bus services from Peterborough to Wansford. A seasonal steam locomotive service is provided by the Nene Valley Railway between Peterborough and Wansford.

Limited car parking facilities are available on the farm track.

Notes

The site is open all the year round.

Visit the Natural England website for further information.


Belfairs Wood  
Designation  SSSI (part), LNR (part) managed by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.
Habitat Ancient semi-natural woodland (mainly oak, birch and hornbeam)
Location In the north west suburbs of Southend-on-Sea, between Hadleigh and Eastwood.
Grid reference TQ833877 / Google
Key Species Heath Fritillary (re-established 1997) & White Admiral
UKBMS transect Since 1987. See UKBMS for more details.
Transport & Parking The nearest train station is Leigh-on-Sea. There is a car park (fee payable).
Notes

The site is open all the year round.

Whilst the whole area is considered to be part of the Hadleigh Great Wood complex, the eastern half of the woodland is referred to as Belfairs Wood, which is found within the boundaries of Belfairs Park. The western area is called Hadleigh Great Wood, which together with Dodds Grove at the north west corner, forms the Belfairs Nature Reserve, and is managed by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.


Brampton Wood  
Designation  SSSI, BCNP Wildlife Trust Reserve
Habitat Ancient woodland (mainly oak, ash and field maple)
Location The reserve is located near the village of Brampton, 6km (4 miles) W of Huntingdon.
Grid reference TL184698 / Google
Key Species Black Hairstreak, White Admiral, Purple & White-letter Hairstreak, Ringlet (& occasional Silver-washed Fritillary)
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Huntingdon, which has bus services to Brampton and Grafham.

Follow the road through the village and over the A1 and the reserve is on the N side of the road 1.5 miles out of Brampton. A brown sign indicates the entrance to a small car park.

Notes

The site is open all the year round. Purple Hairstreaks can often be seen toward the top of the oak trees around the car park; try the two magnificent oak trees (the 'Master Oaks') at the start of the main ride by the information shelter as well. Brampton's White-letter Hairstreaks rarely, if ever, come down from the high tops of elm. Black Hairstreak are elusive by nature; try looking for Blackthorn stands with open glades nearby. Ringlets are numerous along the rides during their flight season (June, July & August).


Castor Hanglands  
Designation  NNR (managed by NE)
Habitat Four distinct habitats - woodland, grassland, scrub and wetland
Location 3km (2 miles) north of the villages of Ailsworth and Castor and 7km (4 miles) to the west of Peterborough.
Grid reference TF122023 / Google
Key Species Black Hairstreak
UKBMS transect Since 1975. See UKBMS for more details
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Peterborough and there are bus services (sometimes restricted) from Peterborough to local villages. Castor village is close to the route of the 'Green Wheel', a 70 km network of cycle paths centred on Peterborough.

There is car parking close to the reserve on Heath Road, connecting Ailsworth and Helpston at TF122023. There is some disabled access with a private road allowing limited access to the drier parts of the reserve. Contact the Site Manager for details by telephoning 01780 752796.

Notes The site is open all the year round.

Chettisham Meadow  
Designation  BCNP Wildlife Trust Reserve
Habitat Hay meadow & Neutral grassland
Location The reserve is located next to Chettisham village, 2 miles north of Ely.
Grid reference TL540830 / Google
Key Species Marbled White, Brown Argus & Small Copper. Orchids include Green-winged, Common spotted and Bee.
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Ely, which has bus services to Chettisham (leaving a 0.5 mile walk) and Little Downham (leaving a 1.5mile walk).

From the centre of Ely, take Lynn Road north towards Chettisham. In the village, turn left to St. Michael's Church and park in the limited on-road space available. Walk left past the church, follow by-way across the busy A10. After 400 metres, take a left track at junction and Chettisham Meadow is 200m on the left.

Notes The site is open all the year round. Grazing animals are present at certain times of the year.

Copperas Wood  
Designation  SSSI, Essex Wildlife Trust Reserve
Habitat Ancient woodland (mainly coppiced Sweet Chestnut and Hornbeam)
Location The reserve is 2km (1 mile) from the village of Ramsey on the B1352 from Ramsey to Manningtree. The entrance is 300m down a public footpath (the Essex Way) beside a large white flat-roofed house.
Grid reference TM199312 / Google
Key Species Purple Hairstreak
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Wrabness which is 0.5miles from the reserve entrance. Regular buses running between Harwich and Colchester go past the reserve on the B1352. 

Notes The site is open all the year round. Visit the Essex Wildlife Trust website for further information. The RSPB reserve at Stour Wood lies about 1 mile to the W and is well worth visiting (White Admiral).

Devil's Dyke

 
Designation  Scheduled Ancient Monument, SSSI and SAC
Habitat Chalk grassland
Location The Dyke stretches in a near perfect straight line for 12km (7 miles) from the Fen edge at Reach, across the open chalk landscape near Newmarket and towards the more wooded landscape on the clay ridges, ending at Ditton Green.
Grid reference TL615617 / Google
Key Species Chalkhill Blue, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak, Brown Argus (and Wall Brown seen occasionally at the Reach end).
UKBMS transect Since 2003. See UKBMS for more details
Transport & Parking

The nearest train stations are at Newmarket and Dullingham, both about 2 miles from the Dyke. There are regular buses to Reach, Swaffham Prior, Newmarket July racecourse and Woodditton. 

 

Burwell Cutting:  Note that when walking from Swaffham Prior along the road to Reach, there is a byway marked ‘DevilÂ’s Dyke WalksÂ’ which in fact leads AWAY from the dyke in a SW direction.

 

DO NOT TAKE THIS PATH. EITHER:

1) carry on to Reach to start walking the length of the Dyke in a SE direction, OR

2) take the public footpath north from TL572649, just east of where the disused railway intersects the road. This footpath runs alongside and across the cutting to intersect with the dyke.

The Burwell Railway Cutting crosses the Dyke about 0.5 mile (1km) south east of Reach – note that there is NO PUBLIC ACCESS to that part of the cutting lying north east of the Dyke.

There is a small car park at Reach, near Swaffham Prior on the B1102 and one at the Newmarket July Racecourse.

Notes

The site is open all the year round.

This is one of the area’s finest butterfly sites and is where the Branch has carried out extensive conservation work over the past few years.

Although the DD restoration project officially ended in 2006, take a look at its website for background information and on the BCNP Wildlife Trust website.

Warning: Devil's Dyke is very popular with dog walkers and not all are responsible about cleaning up afterwards.


Dunmow Railway Cutting

 
Designation  Forms part of the Flitch Way Country Park
Habitat Sloping grassland formed by railway cutting on the disused Bishop’s Stortford to Braintree branch line.
Location 2km (1 mile) west of Great Dunmow.
Grid reference TL614215 / Google
Key Species The cutting hosts a general array of the more common species including Common Blue, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Essex and Small Skipper.
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Braintree from where there is a bus service to Great Dunmow and Takeley. Alternatively, there is a bus service from the railway station at Bishop’s Stortford to Great Dunmow.

There is room for several cars in a layby (Grid ref: TL609217) on the S side of the B1256, just over 1 mile W of Great Dunmow. From here, walk W 100 yards along the B1256, turn left (south) down ButtleyÂ’s Lane for about 200 yards and then left (east) onto the old railway line. The cutting is about 500 yards along the track.

Notes

The site is open all the year round.


Fingringhoe Wick

 
Designation  Essex Wildlife Trust Reserve, SSSI & SPA (part)
Habitat The reserve has an immense range of habitats, including patches of grassland and gorse heathland, and a mixed plantation of trees, including conifers. The river frontage provides additional habitats such as reed beds, saltmarsh, foreshore and inter-tidal mudflats.
Location The reserve lies 5km (3 miles) south-east of Colchester, signposted from there with brown Nature Reserve signs. Take the B1025 from Colchester towards Mersea for 5km (3 miles). After crossing the Roman River turn first left and follow the signs to the reserve. The lanes between Fingringhoe village and the reserve are narrow – please drive with caution. A 10 mph limit is in force on the reserve itself. A metalled road leads to the Centre car park.
Grid reference TM041195 / Google
Key Species Green Hairstreak, Small Copper
Transport & Parking

Not suitable for access via public transport.

Ample parking at the Visitor Centre.

Notes

The Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm, except Mondays, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

All visitors to the nature reserve are required to enter the Fingringhoe Centre first, to obtain a day permit.

The Trust invites donations from non-members of £1 or more for adults and 50p for children. Visit the Essex Wildlife Trust website for further information.


Fleam Dyke

 
Designation  Scheduled Ancient Monument & SSSI
Habitat Chalk grassland
Location About 6km (4 miles) SE of Cambridge, the ditch and rampart, 26m wide and up to 3.5m high, stretches for 5km (3 miles) from Fulbourn SE across the chalk to Balsham.
Grid reference Google
Key Species

A small but expanding colony of Chalkhill Blue and some of the more common species such as Brimstone, Small & Essex Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown and Common Blue.

Transport & Parking

The Fleam Dyke footpath can be started at either the northern end near Fulbourn (TL536557 [OS Landranger Map 154]) or Balsham (TL579513 [OS Landranger Map 154]) with limited parking at both points.

The Dyke crosses the A11 at the half way point where there is also limited parking at a lay-by on the southbound carriageway (TL549543).

The nearest train station is Cambridge, about 6km from the Fulbourn end of the Dyke. There is a regular Stagecoach bus service from Cambridge Drummer Street bus station to Fulbourn (No 1, 16 & 17) and also to Balsham (No 16).

Notes

The site is open all the year round. Cycling is NOT permitted on the footpath.

The Dyke is supported by a conservation society 'The Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke'.

For more information, contact:

Julia Napier

The Secretary of FRRFD

30a Hinton Avenue

Cambridge CB1 7AS Tel: 01223 213152 

Email: @email


Friday Wood

 
Designation  SSSI (owned by Ministry of Defence)
Habitat Ancient woodland
Location The wood lies 5km (3 miles) SW of Colchester on the E side of a minor road that runs S from Berechurch Hall Road to the village of Layer de la Haye, parallel to the B1026 (Colchester to Maldon) road.
Grid reference TL986209 / Google
Key Species White Admiral, Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Colchester.

Bus services from Colchester to Layer and Maldon pass along the Berechurch Hall Road, leaving a walk of about 1km to the reserve entrance.

There is a small car park located just off Bounstead road.

Notes

The site is open all the year round.


Glapthorn Cow Pastures

 
Designation 

SSSI & an BCN Wildlife Trust reserve

Habitat Woodland comprised of dense blackthorn scrub and ash-maple
Location

19km (12 miles) SW of Peterborough. From Oundle, head north west to Glapthorn, and then head west to the Benefields. After 2km (1 mile), the reserve is on the right (north side of the road).

Grid reference TL006903 / Google
Key Species Black Hairstreak
Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Peterborough from where there is a twice daily bus service to Glapthorn village (via Oundle), leaving a walk of about 1 mile.

There is limited parking on the broad verge, opposite the reserve entrance.

Notes

The site is open all the year round.  Visit the the BCN Wildlife Trust website for further information.


Hadleigh Castle Country Park

 
Designation 

SSSI (part) & SPA, (owned and managed by Essex County Council)

Habitat A mosaic of grassland, scrub and light woodland on a hillside which runs down (steeply in places) to grazing marsh, seawall and saltmarsh.
Location

This fine country park lies alongside the River Thames between South Benfleet and Leigh-on-Sea.

Grid reference TQ799870 / Google
Key Species White-letter Hairstreak, Essex Skipper, Marbled White and occasional Clouded Yellow
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Benfleet (on the Fenchurch Street to Southend line), which is a few minutes walk from the W end of the CP. Bus services run along the A13 through Hadleigh (get off at the Waggon and Horses PH) and to Benfleet train station.

 

The main access point is from a car park at the end of Chapel Lane, which leaves the A13 opposite the Waggon and Horses public house in Hadleigh. Other access points lie at the end of St. Marys Road, 250 yards NE of Benfleet station and from a footpath just W of Leigh-on-Sea train station.

Notes

The area is open all year round and the best White Letter Hairstreak areas are at the west end of the Country Park.


Hatfield Forest

 
Designation 

National Trust Nature Reserve, SSSI & NNR

Habitat Ancient Woodland
Location

5km (3 miles) east of Bishop's Stortford

Grid reference TL537199 / Google
Key Species Silver-washed Fritillary
Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Bishop's Stortford, about a 15 minute taxi ride away. There is an hourly bus service (First Village Link No 7).

 

The Bush End car park (fee payable) (located at TL547202) is always open while the car park at Shell House is generally open at weekends and during school holidays. There is also space for 2 - 3 cars at the roadside near the sharp bend just east of Woodside Green. There is open foot access to much of the forest.

Notes

Silver-washed Fritillaries have been recorded in the forest each year since 2006. Beggars Hall coppice (the western area of the forest) is probably the best area to see them during the first half of July.


Hockley Woods

 
Designation 

LNR, SSSI (owned by Rochford DC and managed in collaboration with Natural England)

Habitat Ancient woodland of mainly hornbeam, willow, sweet chestnut and oak (with coppicing of hornbeam and sweet chestnut in selected areas).
Location

The woods lie just south of the village of Hockley, near Basildon.

Grid reference TQ834924 / Google
Key Species Heath Fritillary (re-established 1987), White-letter Hairstreak
Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Hockley, about 20 minutes walk from the reserve. Bus services from Rayleigh and Southend run past the main entrance.

 

Leave the M25 at junction 29 and take the A127 towards Southend-on-Sea, and then the A129 to Rayleigh. At Rayleigh take the B1013 to Hockley. The car park is next to the Bull Inn public house.

Notes

The site is open all year round.


Langdon Hills

 
Designation 

Part Country Park, Part Essex WT Reserve

Habitat A mosaic of habitats which include flower-rich meadows, ponds, together with ancient and secondary woodland.
Location

6km (4 miles) West of Basildon.

Grid reference TQ659874 / Google
Key Species

Grizzled Skipper, Purple Hairstreak

Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Langdon (on the Fenchurch Street to Southend line) which is less than 800m from the reserve. Regular bus services run from Basildon town centre to Langdon train station and to Langdon Hills.

 

Leave the M25 at junction 29 and take the A127 to Basildon. After about 4 miles, turn off onto the B148, following the brown-and-white duck signs until you reach the car park at the Langdon visitor centre on the LHS of the road.

Notes

The Nature Reserve - Willow Park (owned and managed by Essex Wildlife Trust is open all the year round which, together with One Tree Hill and Johnsons meadow (owned and managed by Thurrock Council) to the South and East, forms one of the largest areas of nature conservation in Essex.


Marks Hall Wood

 
Designation 

Privately owned Woodland

Habitat Woodland with Deer Park
Location

8km (5 miles) east of Braintree

Grid reference TL840254 / Google
Key Species

Silver-washed Fritillary

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway stations are Marks Tey and Kelvedon, both about a 15 to 20 minute taxi away. There is no suitable bus service.

 

The car park at the Visitor Centre is free but admission to the Gardens, Arboretum and Woodland Walks costs £3. However, access to much of the wood can be made along several rights of way (public footpaths).

Notes

Once naturally occurring here, the Silver-washed Fritillary was lost when the woods were planted with conifers in the 1950s. However a re-introduction scheme (started in the late 1990's) involving the Colchester Natural History Society, Natural England and the Forestry Commission is now helping to re-establish the species back in the Thrift Wood area of the Marks Hall estate.

 

Visit the Marks Hall Wood website for further information and a map of the site.

 

The best places to see the SWFs are along the path to the east of the deer fenced area (not a public right of way), along the avenue of Oak trees (public footpath), and in Thrift Wood (the area SE of the public footpath).


Monks Wood

 
Designation 

NNR

Habitat Ancient woodland consisting mainly of ash, oak and hazel with some coppicing on a 15 or 20 year cycle. The site is also notable for its population of rare wild service trees.
Location

10 km north of Huntingdon and 1 km to the east of the A1(M) between junctions 14 and 15, near the A1/A14 junction. The reserve is accessed via the B1090 (from the B1043). The nearest village is Woodwalton.

Grid reference TL199792 / Google
Key Species

Black Hairstreak, Grizzled Skipper, White-letter Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak and White Admiral

UKBMS Transect

Since 1973. See UKBMS for more details.

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Huntingdon (6 miles/10 km south) or Peterborough (15 miles/25 km north). The frequent train service from London Kings Cross to Huntingdon takes about 1 hour. Taxis are available at Huntingdon station. And there are bus services (sometimes infrequent) to Woodwalton (check out the Cambridgeshire CC transport website for further information).

There is limited car parking at a lay-by on the B1090, near the entrance to the reserve.

Notes

The site is open all the year round, apart from occasional closures for shooting.

 

Please check in advance if travelling any distance and obey any warning notices.

 

Visit the Natural England website for further information and a leaflet.


Orwell Clunch Pit

 
Designation 

SSSI (part)

Habitat Chalk grassland
Location

On the north side of the village of Orwell, a small village 11km (7 miles) north of Royston & 11km (7 miles) south west of Cambridge.

Grid reference TL364504 / Google
Key Species

Small Copper, Common Blue, Brown Argus and the rare Chalk Carpet moth.

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Shepreth (2 miles/3 km south east). A frequent train service from London Kings Cross takes under an hour. There is an infrequent daily bus service to Orwell from Cambridge (Whippet Coaches No.75).

There is a car park on the High Street in Orwell village.

Notes

The site is open all the year round.

 

Wheelchair access: From the car park on the high street exit via the top left corner, follow the path up the hill to the wheelchair accessible kissing gate (if you need the gate unlocked it works on the RADAR key system).


Pound Wood

 
Designation 

Essex Wildlife Trust Reserve

Habitat Ancient woodland with some very old secondary woodland in the south west area.
Location

In the north west suburbs of Southend-on-Sea, between Hadleigh and Eastwood.

Grid reference TQ816888 / Google
Key Species

Heath Fritillary (re-established in 1998)

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Leigh-on-Sea, about 2.5km from the reserve. A regular bus services (except Sundays) runs along Rayleigh Road from Rayleigh, Leigh, Chalkwell and Westcliff railway stations, and Southend bus station; get off at Rivers Corner.

For Evenings and Sundays use the service serving Rayleigh station and Southend bus station via the A13 and get off at Woodman’s Arms.

Turn south off the A127 at Rayleigh Weir on to Rayleigh Road (A129) and turn left on to Daws Heath Road at the Woodman's Public House mini-roundabout. Alternatively, join the A129 from the A13, and turn right on to Daws Heath Road. Park on local streets with consideration for residents.

Notes

The site is open all year round. Visit the Essex Wildlife Trust website for further information.

Belfairs Wood to the south east and Starvelarks Wood (which together with Wyburn's Wood comprise the majority of EWT's Little Haven reserve) to the west are close-by and are also sites for Heath Fritillary.

 

More information can be found on this Pound Wood website.


Roman Road

 
Designation 

Scheduled Ancient Monument and SSSI

Habitat Chalk grassland
Location

The Road stretches in a near perfect straight line for 16km (10 miles) from the Fen edge at Wandlebury CP just on the SE outskirts of Cambridge, across the open chalk landscape N of Babraham and Linton, ending at the village of Horseheath.

Grid reference TL566494 / Google
Key Species

The Road hosts a wide variety of the more common species including Common Blue, Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Essex and Small Skipper, which can usually be seen in some numbers and at close range (due to the abundance of summer flowers).

 

Up to 23 different species are generally recorded here each year. Chalkhill Blues have been occasionally seen and, together with the occasional Marbled White and Clouded Yellow, the butterfly species list stands at an impressive 26.

UKBMS Transect

Since 2007. See UKBMS for more details.

Transport & Parking

The nearest train station is Cambridge, about 2 miles from the northern end of the Road. There are regular buses from Cambridge to Haverhill which stop at Wandlebury, Babraham, Hildersham, Linton and Horseheath. Another bus service operates from Cambridge stopping at Fulbourn and Balsham.

There limited car parking at the northern end of the Roman Road, where it meets Wort's Causeway (TL492547), at the Pay & Display car park at Wandlebury Country park (TL494532) and on the side road from Babraham whee it crosses the A11 at Worsted Lodge (TL526519).

Notes

The site is open all the year round.

 

The Roman Road is supported by The Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke conservation society.


Stour Wood

 
Designation 

SSSI (owned by Woodland Trust and leased to RSPB)

Habitat Ancient semi-natural woodland and one of the best sweet chestnut woods in Essex
Location

6km (4 miles) west of Harwich, between the villages of Wrabness and Ramsey. Turn off the A120 Colchester to Harwich road on to the B1352.

Grid reference TM191310 / Google
Key Species

White Admiral

UKBMS Transect

Since 1983. See UKBMS for more details.

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Wrabness, about 0.8km from the reserve entrance (along a public footpath). Regular buses running between Harwich and Colchester go past the reserve on the B1352. Plan your journey here.

There is a car park at the main entrance, which is signposted from the B1352, at TM191310.

Notes

The site is open all year round. Visit the Woodland Trust website for further information.

 

The Essex Wildlife Trust reserve at Copperas Wood lies about 1 mile to the east and is well worth visiting (Purple Hairstreak).


Therfield Heath

 
Designation 

SSSI (owned and managed by the Therfield Conservators) – the beech woodland Fox Covert forms part of the overall Heath and is a Herts & Middlesex Reserve.

Habitat Chalk grassland
Location

2km (1 mile) south west of Royston

Grid reference TL336403 / Google
Key Species

Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White & Brown Argus

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Royston, a 10 minute walk from the reserve.

There is a car park at the reserve entrance on the south side of Baldock Road.

Notes

The site is open all year round. Visit the Herts & Middlesex WT website for further information.


Thrift Wood

 
Designation 

Essex Wildlife Trust Reserve

Habitat Ancient woodland consisting of hornbeam coppice with many oak standards, some birch, ash and coppiced sweet chestnut. There are also a number of wild service trees.
Location

11km (7 miles) south east of Chelmsford

Grid reference TL790017 / Google
Key Species

Heath Fritillary (re-established in 1984)

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Chelmsford. There is a regular bus service from Chelmsford to South Woodham Ferrers, stopping at the main gate to the wood.

The entrance is on the B1418 road south of the Brewers Arm pub in Bicknacre. There is parking for a one or two cars at the main gate, with overflow parking on the opposite verge.

Notes

The site is open all year round. Visit the Essex Wildlife Trust  website for further information.


Wicken Fen

 
Designation 

National Trust Nature Reserve, NNR

Habitat

Wicken Fen is divided by a man-made watercourse called Wicken Lode. The area north of Wicken Lode, together with a small area known as Wicken Poors' Fen, forms the NNR.

 

These areas contain original peat fen with communities of carr and sedge. They support rare and uncommon fenland plants such as marsh pea, Cambridge milk parsley, fen violet and marsh fern. This part of the Fen can be enjoyed from a series of boardwalks.

 

The area south of the Lode is called Adventurer's Fen and consists of rough pasture, reedbed and pools. The dykes, abandoned claypits and other watercourses carry a great wealth of aquatic plants, many of which are uncommon elsewhere.

Location

16km (10 miles) north east of Cambridge, situated in between the villages of Wicken and Upware on the A1123.

Grid reference TL555705 / Google
Key Species

The Fen hosts a general array of the more common species including Green Hairstreak and Brown Argus. The nationally rare Reed Leopard moth is common at the site. Other local moths include Cream-bordered Green Pea, Yellow-legged Clearwing and Emperor. The reserve also supports large numbers of snail, spider and beetle species. Damselflies found here include the Emerald, Azure and Common Blue; together with dragonflies such as the Southern and Brown hawker, Emperor, Hairy, and Black-tailed Skimmer.

UKBMS Transect Since 1979. See UKBMS for more information.
Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Ely. There are regular bus services from Cambridge to Ely which stop at Soham which is about 5km away.

There is ample parking within a short walk from the Visitor Centre for cars and coaches. For disabled visitors, closer parking is available by arrangement with the Visitor Centre staff.

Notes

The site is open all the year round (except Christmas Day) and has a visitor centre and cafe. Admission fee applies to non NT members.

Visit the National Trust's Wicken Fen website and the Natural England website for further information.


Woodwalton Marsh

 
Designation 

SSSI & BCNP Wildlife Trust reserve

Habitat

Unimproved grassland

Location

This small site (only 2 acres) is 10km (6 miles) NW of Huntingdon. From the B1090 Abbotts Ripton to Alconbury road turn right and right again into Wood Walton. Pass beneath the railway line and take the first left onto New Road.

Grid reference TL212813 / Google
Key Species

Grizzled Skipper along with Marbled White. Flora includes Pyramidal orchid and the nationally scarce Sulphur Clover.

Transport & Parking

The nearest railway station is Huntingdon from where there is a infrequent bus service to Wood Walton village, leaving a walk of about 0.5 mile.

Park in the passing place opposite the gate to the reserve.

Notes

The site is open all the year round.

 

Visit the the BCN Wildlife Trust website for further information.