The Dragonfly Centre at Wicken Fen is a brilliant place to visit and get closer to dragonflies. With knowledgable volunteers on hand, colourful displays and two dragonfly ponds for dipping in a visit to the centre is a fun and educational visit for the whole family.
Wicken Fen was the very first Nature Reserve to be owned by The National Trust and is one of the best places in the country to see dragonflies with 22 species recently recorded on the fen. It is the ideal location for this centre. On warm sunny days large numbers of these beautiful insects can be seen performing their marvellous aerobatics, elegantly flying along the reed-fringed waterways and ditches.
The Dragonfly Centre is run as a joint venture between the British Dragonfly Society and the National Trust. The centre is located in a renovated fenland cottage and cannot be missed as it is just before the entrance to the reserve. Inside the building there are colourful and informative displays, dragonfly miscellany and a slideshow. Outside there are two ponds, one of which is raised for close observation, and there are interpretation boards.
The centre was opened in 2009 by TV Presenter and naturalist Chris Packham, who led a guided walk and talk on dragonflies, and emphasised that “Dragonflies are fascinating, beautiful and in trouble, and everyone can help”. It has been a popular feature of the fen ever since, with 'Ask-Me' knowledgeable enthusiasts on hand to answer your questions and help with identification queries. Tailored tours of the habitats can also be arranged, by prior appointment.
The Dragonfly Centre is normally open from 10am-4pm at weekends from late May until the end of September and on selected days throughout the school summer holidays. Please contact the Wicken Fen Visitor Centre (01353 720274) for up to date opening times.
Details of the 2016 opening days can be found here.
Would you like to help run the Centre ?
We're doing our best to have the Dragonfly Centre at Wicken Fen open every summer weekend and most school holiday weekdays, but for this we need as much help as we can get.
You don't have to be an expert, you only need to be happy to share what you know with others. If you're interested in offering help please contact the secretary of the BDS, Henry Curry. He will then add your name to the rota and answer any questions you may have. We'll give you as much help and training as you feel you need before having you man the Centre alone. Thank you in advance.
The Dragonfly Centre project is supported by the Fens Adventurers Rural Development Programme, an RDPE initiative funded by Defra, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural area and Local Authorities. The funding is managed locally by Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire ACRE and regionally by EEDA.
The Dragonfly Centre is supported by: