Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk Map
Wildlife Walk

The Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk has been created with generous funding from the National Lottery through “Big Lottery Fund” and the work of an enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteers.  The fen is a 44 acre site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and County Wildlife Site (CWS) owned by Boughton Parish Council.

To maintain and preserve this nationally important wetland Boughton Parish Council has set up a Committee to manage the fen with advice from Natural England and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.  The SSSI and CWS have been entered into an Environmental Stewardship agreement, which funds the management of the site.

Highland Fen
This is the transitional zone between reed bed and dryer vegetation. Birds include Coal Tit (winter), Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler and Nightingale. The rare Willow Tit can occasionally be found. During winter, Fieldfare and Redwing are usually present. The commonest dragonfly of this area is the Brown Hawker. Butterflies are well represented with Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Comma and Ringlet being found here. Cowslip, Comfrey, Yellow Flag Iris and Marsh Marigold are typical of the plant life in this area.

At certain times of the year, you may see the drier grassy area being grazed by livestock to enhance the floral biodiversity of this habitat.

Middle Fen
This area includes the best quality reed bed.  Look here for birds such as Marsh Harrier, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Reed Bunting, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Bullfinch, soaring Buzzard, Water Rail (mainly winter) and roosting Swallows during August.  Barn Owls hunt over the area nightly.  Spring and summer often sees several Hobby (a small falcon) present.  The explosive song of the secretive Cetti's Warbler can sometimes be heard, but a sighting difficult.

Grass snakes, frogs and toads are common.  Harvest Mouse nests are often found but the animals themselves are rarely spotted.  In addition to the Common Reed, plantlife includes Hemp Agrimony, Meadowsweet and Marsh Marigold. Dragonflies are numerous, including Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Common Darter, Hairy Dragonfly and the Banded Demoiselle.

Lower Fen
Look here for birds such as Robin, Marsh Tit, Blackcap Treecreeper and Long-tailed Tit. Along the Stringside Drain, Kingfishers are regularly seen, with Otters as occasional visitors. Damselflies include Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Red and amongst the butterflies are Comma, Green-veined White and Speckled Wood.

Muntjac Deer are regular visitors. Plant life includes Common Meadow Rue, Yellow Loosestrife and Purple Loosestrife, Woody Nightshade and Tufted Vetch, as well as other typical fen vegetation. At certain times of the year you may see this area being grazed by livestock, helping to preserve and enhance the growth of plant species that could otherwise be overpowered by the more vigorous grasses and reed.

Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk Official Opening
Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk - Official Opening 21st June 2014

On a glorious sunny afternoon Boughton villagers, invited guests and visitors assembled down at Boughton Fen to celebrate the opening of the Fen Wildlife Walk.

People started to arrive shortly after 2pm and by 2.30pm a large number had gathered, ready to walk the route which had been mowed and cut by volunteers a couple of days previously. The guest of honour was Mrs Joy Boldero, who had been chosen to ‘cut the ribbon’ as she had presented Boughton Fen with the inaugural Boldero Award, in conjunction with the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. This award was for access to the countryside and had been made in memory of her husband, Charles.

We all set off, accompanied by the committee members across the boardwalk towards Lower Fen. It seemed a long column of walkers that followed the route, laughing and chatting and passing Joy’s dog, Tammy, from person to person as we went.

On arrival at the tall signboard on Highland Fen, we were met by a red ribbon across the path. Frank introduced Joy to the walkers. She gave a short speech before cutting the ribbon. Mark followed this with some more words, whilst the rest of the Committee were busy pouring out and handing around glasses of nice cold bubbly.

Andy Beeston’s two grandchildren presented Joy with a gift and everyone enjoyed their drinks while Dave and Mark demonstrated the ‘path cutter’. We set off again around the remainder of the walk and back to the cars. Everyone had enjoyed the afternoon and our visitors seemed very impressed by the achievements of Boughton Fen Committee and their willing band of volunteers.

Sue Pogmore

Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk Official Opening
All Aboard the Boardwalk........
The Boughton Fen Committee thank all who attended our official opening of Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk. We are immensely proud to have such a wonderful asset on our doorstep, which has provided the village with an award winning wildlife walk. Our awards include, CPRE Award, Boldero Award, Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership Award and a Lloyds Bank Community Award.

We are aware that some of you were unable to join us on the day so if you would like an accompanied tour sometime in the future then please contact Angela on 01366 501335.

The Boughton Fen Committee