Redgrave and Lopham Fen NNR is an extensive area of spring-fed valley fen in the headwaters of the River Waveney on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. It is the largest fen in lowland England. The reserve has a range of distinct habitats including the internationally important saw sedge beds and purple-moor grasslands. It is also home to one of only two British populations of the fen raft spider
County: Norfolk & Suffolk
Main habitats: Peatland
Area: 125 Ha
Site map: Nature on the Map.
Although most NNRs are managed by Natural England, 88 are wholly or partly managed by other bodies approved by Council, under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Redgrave and Lopham Fen NNR is owned and managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. For more information about the reserve see the Suffolk Wildlife Trust website or telephone 01379 687618.
Redgrave and Lopham Fen can be reached from the B1113, or the A1066. From the B1113, the reserve is situated between Redgrave and South Lopham, and from the A1066 between South Lopham and Bressingham. The main car parks are situated at the visitor centre. A bus service runs weekly along the main road. The reserve can be visited at any time of year.
We encourage visitors to use environmentally friendly forms of transport wherever possible. Most National Nature Reserves are easily accessible by bicycle, with many close to the National Cycle Network. See a location map of the reserve on the National Cycle Network website.
Toilets and refreshment facilities are available at the visitor centre. There are three nature trails at the reserve two, three and 4.5 km in length. Paths to the river and viewing platforms are usually accessible by wheelchairs and pushchairs. There is a nature trail leaflet, and panels around the site, as well as the visitor centre for visitor information.
Historically a plentiful supply of ground water with a low nutrient level has been available, and maintained the rare habitats on the fen. More recently the fens have suffered from ground water abstractions beside the fen and over-deepening of the River Waveney channel. At roughly the same time the traditional management of the fen ceased, leading to a great increase in the area of scrub and woodland. European Union LIFE money has been made available to fund a restoration programme for the fen that includes peat stripping, habitat restoration and the relocation of the borehole away from the fen.