LAK­EN­HEATH FEN

EADT Suffolk - - Walk Of The Month -

RSPB Lak­en­heath Fen sits at the south­ern point of The Fens, a vast flat­land that ex­tends north­wards to The Wash near Kings Lynn. This was once all salt marsh, drained cen­turies ago, in­ter­sected by long man-made wa­ter­courses and to­day prime agri­cul­tural land.

The Lit­tle Ouse River bounds the north­ern edge of the re­serve and you’ll fol­low a raised riverbank past wet­lands that not long ago were fields of car­rots. Keep your eyes peeled, as you’ll have a very good chance of see­ing some of Bri­tain’s rarest birds, in­clud­ing golden ori­oles, bit­terns and cranes.

DI­REC­TIONS

ASK at the vis­i­tor cen­tre for the path to Wash­land view­point. The view­point looks over the Lit­tle Ouse River and a small wet­land. Here there are of­ten dozens of herons, egrets and swans.

The view­point is on a pub­lic foot­path. Turn left and fol­low the foot­path along the riverbank, keep­ing the river on your right. Af­ter about 1.5 miles you reach a metal kiss­ing gate.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the gate, turn left to drop down onto a mown path into the RSPB re­serve. Take the first turn­ing right, sign­posted view­point, to a wooden shel­ter. This is Joist Fen view­point. It’s usu­ally a very good spot to watch marsh har­ri­ers.

Con­tinue just past the view­point to pick up the long straight track. This track leads all the way back to the vis­i­tor cen­tre. On the way, di­vert to New Fen view­point, an­other good place to see marsh har­ries, plus the elu­sive bit­tern.

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