• Whooper swans, autumn moths and otters- the latest from RSPB Lakenheath Fen

    Hello to one and all and welcome to the latest blog. This week has been peppered with lovely moments- we have had the first big groups of whooper swans on the Washland (300+ early this morning, 15 October and 294 on 12 October), redwing in an almost constant stream overhead and a spectacular, if slightly worn, clifden nonpariel moth in a trap that Katherine set on the evening of 13 October. This is only our second record…

    • 16 Oct 2020
  • The reserve in beautiful pictures - 2 October 2020

    Hello all,

    In my blogs there's normally more text than images, but during the past week or so we've been spoilt for choice by visitors that have kindly sent us in their images from their visits here at RSPB Lakenheath Fen, so I thought i'd make this blog all about those wonderful images. To start with, although the variety of insects still out during autumn is a bit limited, Chris Robinson- a regular visitor, got this…

    • 2 Oct 2020
  • Beautiful bearded tits and more - Friday 25th September 2020

    Hello to all of our supporters and thank you to those of you who have visited us in the past week. Your visits mean a lot to us- it is lovely to hear what you have seen during your walk, it really helps us when you spend a pound or two on refreshments or simply it's just good to know you have enjoyed the reserve and what it has to offer! Our aim here is to help people connect with wildlife and the history and story of…

    • 25 Sep 2020
  • Mere Hide strimming Thursday 17 Sept 2020

    Just a quick note for anyone planning to visit the reserve this Thursday (17 Sept).  There will be a bit of disturbance for a short time in front of Mere Hide from 9.30 - 10.30am.  This is so we can strim back some unruly vegetation that is obscuring the view to the kingfisher perches.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

    Many thanks,


    • 15 Sep 2020
  • The latest from Lakenheath Fen - 11 September 2020

    I thought i'd start this week's blog with a couple of photos from our moth trap which we set last night at the reserve- although at this time of year the trap is quite quiet, with fewer moths than during high summer, the range of species changes and it can be really interesting to see species that have camouflage especially suited to the fallen leaves and rustic colours of autumn. The star of the show was the scarce …

    • 11 Sep 2020
  • The first week of autumn at RSPB Lakenheath Fen!

    This past week marks a change in the seasons- it is the first week of autumn and the reserve is changing accordingly. Many mornings it's a bit chilly, damp but lovely and bright! 

    It has been a good few days for sightings of our regular favourites, including common cranes and bitterns from Joist Fen viewpoint. We have up to nine cranes seen at the moment, which is made up of our two pairs which spent the summer with…

    • 5 Sep 2020
  • More ospreys and plenty of lizards! The latest from RSPB Lakenheath Fen

    While the weather this week hasn’t always been ideal for wildlife watching, we have had plenty of visitors on drier days, many of whom have been reporting their sightings to us after their visit and for this we are always very grateful!

    On Friday we had another osprey sighted by one of our volunteers from Joist Fen- this could well be the same bird that visited us around a week ago, or a new bird stopping off her…

    • 30 Aug 2020
  • The Latest from Lakenheath Fen- 21st August 2020

    Hello to all our visitors from a windy and wild Lakenheath Fen! Today these swirling winds are stirring things up and depositing a very fine layer of black peat dust over everything! It is a new experience for me and reminds me of what it might have been like during the industrial revolution in many of our towns and cities, except this soot is of a different origin! My colleagues have told me the more technical term for…

    • 21 Aug 2020
  • Highlights from this week at RSPB Lakenheath Fen

    Welcome to this week’s blog, and to start with here is a selection of the moths we caught in the trap last night. We had another specimen each of marbled clover and tawny wave, which are both specialities of the local area. Marbled clover caterpillars feed on the flowers and unripe seeds of a variety of plants which grow well in the Brecks, such as white campion, common toadflax and red clover. Tawny wave is classified…

    • 7 Aug 2020
  • News and sightings from Lakenheath Fen - 1st August 2020

    This week has been a brilliant one for butterflies and dragonflies, who love the hot weather, even if we don't always! Our commonest butterflies this week have included red admiral and peacock, gliding across paths and visiting hemp agrimony and buddleia- their favourite flowers here. Closer to the ground on the viper's bugloss, which is coming to the end of it's flowering period, small skipper, Essex ski…

    • 1 Aug 2020
  • The highlights from a superb week!

    Hello to all and welcome to our latest blog. We have had a busy week here implementing changes to how to work to bring back more of what we used to do here at the reserve prior to lockdown. The changes start inside the building- now we have had our coffee machine recommissioned, we can offer the full range of coffee, teas and hot chocolate as we used to do, plus cold drinks (bottled water and Breckland Orchard Posh Pop…

    • 17 Jul 2020
  • Calling all volunteers!

    Hello and welcome to our latest blog- usually these are all about sightings but today we need to ask for help in another way. Since we reopened about a month ago, we have installed a Welcome Point at the side of the Visitor Centre to welcome visitors to the reserve in a COVID-secure way. We keep a mobile reserve map, sightings board and a volunteer or staff member is always there during our opening hours of 9am to 5pm…

    • 10 Jul 2020
  • A week of waders at RSPB Lakenheath Fen!

    Hello to all of our supporters, old and new, and welcome to the latest blog from Lakenheath Fen! This week the view from the Washland has been spectacular, with a wide variety of different wading birds recorded, and this is all down to it being the breeding season. While a few of the species up there- avocet, redshank and lapwing- have bred with us this year, there are a few 'extras' making cameo appearances for a few…

    • 3 Jul 2020
  • Activities for little explorers to Lakenheath Fen!

    Families that visit us regularly at the reserve will be familiar with our usual activities on offer for children- we usually hire out activity backpacks, spotter sheets, bug hunting and pond dipping kits, as well as having a table of indoor crafts for rainy days. However, with the hygiene restrictions due to COVID-19 we sadly can't do this at the moment. So, we have come up with a range of activities children can do around…

    • 27 Jun 2020
  • A week of butterflies and dragonflies at Lakenheath Fen

    On the back of a couple of very hot days here, our butterfly and dragonfly lists for the year have risen dramatically. Now we are up to 16 species of butterfly:


    Orange tip

    Common blue

    Brown argus

    Small copper

    Small white

    Large white

    Small skipper

    Large skipper

    Meadow brown

    Ringlet (25 June)

    Painted lady

    Small tortoiseshell

    Red admiral



    And the following 15 species of dragonfly:

    Common blue dams…

    • 26 Jun 2020
  • An update on our wildlife at Lakenheath Fen!

    Welcome to the first sightings blog in a very long time- it is lovely to be able to write again about what wildlife we have on the reserve at the moment and what you should be able to see if you visit us. During the lockdown, our knowledge of what the wildlife were up to was very limited. But, in the past week it has been clear that the reserve is packed with wildlife who have been making the most of having the reserve…

    • 5 Jun 2020
  • The re-opening of RSPB Lakenheath Fen!

    After a long time without any blogging from the team here at Lakenheath Fen, it is an absolute pleasure to be writing it once again! One of our wardens, Emma, and I are now back from furlough, joining our Site Manager Dave and our administrator Suzanne. Over the past couple of weeks we have been working hard and working together to get things ready for opening today.  This blog will describe in detail what we are able…

    • 5 Jun 2020
  • Bank Holiday weekend - the reserve remains closed

    With the Bank Holiday approaching, we would like to remind everyone that the reserve remains closed to visitors at the moment and our events are postponed. 

    It is with great sadness that we ask you to continue to refrain from visiting us, but we will only re-open when it can be done safely for our visitors, staff, volunteers and wildlife. Keep an eye on here for updates. 

    Discover a whole host of ways we can help connect…

    • 23 May 2020
  • Easter - the reserve remains closed

    With Easter approaching, we would like to remind everyone that in line with clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home (apart from a limited number of allowed activities), the reserve remains closed to visitors until further notice and our events are postponed.

    It is with great sadness that we ask people to continue to refrain from visiting us, but we must play our part to help restrict the…

    • 10 Apr 2020
  • Beautiful Blackcaps on Your Local Patch!

    The lovely warm weather of today is forecast to continue into next week, and on your daily exercise walks and in your gardens, the song of a new bird will soon be joining the others (such as blackbird, robin and goldfinch)… and it is the blackcap!

    This small warbler is a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde in terms of its habits- while we have over 900,000 pairs breeding in the UK each summer, thousands now also overwinter…

    • 4 Apr 2020
  • What to look out for- Brilliant Bee-flies!

    In the first blog since our full (but temporary) closure of Lakenheath Fen, I thought it would be nice to shine a spotlight on some of the highlights of spring that we not only will have at Lakenheath; but also what you can see out and about on your daily ‘exercise’ walks in your local area. I hope these are an interesting read and allow five minutes of escapism for our blog followers- and also something to look out for…

    • 26 Mar 2020
  • Our response to COVID-19 at Lakenheath Fen

    Following the latest government advice we have made the difficult decision to close the reserve completely for the foreseeable future- our entrance gate at the roadside will be locked from 25th March onwards. This is to prioritise the health and welfare of our staff, volunteers and visitors.

    These are difficult and unsettling times for all of us but we hope that nature can provide a welcome respite in whichever form and…

    • 19 Mar 2020
  • 'Chiffy' and his friends- early Spring at Lakenheath Fen

    Our first chiffchaff of the spring was heard on the morning of 8 March, singing outside the Visitor Centre, and this really was the crowning glory on what has been a very spring-like week with warm sunny weather on several days, several sightings of bumblebees and early spring flowers popping up along paths and rides. We had another ‘chiffy’ calling outside the Visitor Centre on Tuesday morning (10th). This…

    • 13 Mar 2020
  • Bittern Booming and Nesting Surveys (March to June 2020)

    As we are at the beginning of March, it is only a couple of weeks before we begin our surveys here at Lakenheath Fen to try and count ‘booming’ bitterns (through late March and into April) and then bittern nests (during May and June). The results from these surveys really help us to assess, at the end of the breeding season, how well we have done as a reserve in creating a home for bitterns- the priority species the reserve…

    • 5 Mar 2020
  • A hint of spring... and all the news from Lakenheath Fen!

    I ought to start with the sensible stuff- and let you all know that if you are travelling to us from the Ely direction there is a road closure which might be relevant- it is the Highbridge Gravel Drove / Newman’s Drove / Farthing’s Drove road between the Mildenhall Road (A1101) and the B1112 that runs from south to north through Lakenheath village and up to the reserve (see below).

    The closure is in place…

    • 27 Feb 2020