Back to reserve map

Market Weston Fen

There is something special about Market Weston Fen.

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 trail map - click to view


 

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

Species and habitats

Species
Kingfisher, Linnet, Great Crested Newt

Nearby nature reserves

Hopton Fen
1 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Thelnetham Fen
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Knettishall Heath
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Fen Street, Hopton
Diss
Suffolk
IP22 2RF
Map reference
TL983789

GPS Info
Heading south west along Fen Street from Hopton village, park on verge just beyond reserve entrance situated on south-easterly side of road.

Great for...
birdwatching
spring flowers
Best time to visit
May - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
37.00 hectares
Access
Yes

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.
Walking information
Can be quite wet in places
Parking
You are most welcome to visit the nature reserve, but please park with consideration for our neighbours. Limited space in Fen Streetpast last cottage
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Cattle and ponies graze the fen
Reserve manager
Richard Young
Tel: 01379 687618

Downloads

Factsheets and guides for your visit