Pond dipping at Wicken Fen

We are so lucky that we live near to Wicken Fen. A large nature reserve and a vital wetland habitat. 

Home to thousands of species. So we are armed with nets to try and catch a closer look at some of them.

We’ve been pond dipping there before. It was brilliant fun, although being a whole year younger was a bit more tricky. When you have more children than hands and one of those children in particular is partial to a dip, well it’s hard work!

This year a much easier affair. Those 365 days making a huge difference in terms of maturity, physical development and not to forget all those swimming lessons. 😉

A wet day on the wetlands but luckily a break in the showers meant we could enjoy most of the session without a soaking. First things first however was the important business of rules and health and safety.

Mainly being – just don’t fall in. 

You got that team? 


Having been given the low-down it was time to get stuck in.

Armed with nets, trays and identification cards it was time to see what they could find. 

Identification cards incredibly useful but my lot seemed to find it much more effective to let out a ‘WOAH! look what I found!’

Quite a shy and retiring bunch. 😉

Thankfully we had no pond dunking and apart from rain showers stayed dry. Phew! 


As part of our haul we found diving beetles, water boatmen and Dragonfly nymphs. Dragonfly being pretty beautiful, nymphs less so. It’s the tale of the ugly duckling all over again.


My little diva, Absolutely hates creepy crawlies. Yet here she is happily scooping them out in a pot. 

Last year she touched a water snail who had attached himself to her net. In horror she launched the net into the pond. 

Not embarrassing at all. 

Yet here she is happily posing with her beastly little friend. I expect normal service to resume shortly…those bloodcurdling screams in the wood? Just this one spotting a slug! 

Clearly some kind of magic at work in the fens here! One with bugs, whilst the other two share.  

Working together. In harmony. 


 Sadly the session is over all too soon. The children having such a brilliant time I really expected them to stage a sit in protest. 

Well ok, we were the last ones to leave the pond.

Then it’s time to bug hunt. 

Only word has got out on the fens and the mini beasties have all scarpered. 

My advice would be to attend these sessions earlier in the day. 

With limited success, a sudden downpour and the fact we have a kitten to collect. *excited dance*

We make like the bugs and scarper too.


Pond dipping sessions are held at Wicken fen every Tuesday through the holidays. Booking is essential through the national trust website. 

5 thoughts on “Pond dipping at Wicken Fen

  1. I can’t wait to do this sort of thing with Freya. At the moment she just wants to get in the water with them. Hehe. Lovely pics, as usual 🙂


  2. Be very proud of your bug loving children. Maybe thats where I went wrong not introducing my kids to creepy crawlies at an early age. My daughter, who I hasten to add was just a couple of weeks from her 21st birthday broke her elbow and wrist due to a very hasty exit from the bathroom when she spotted a woodlouse heading towards her wet feet on a tiled floor.


  3. Looks like fun!!! BeanBoy would love that, but CamMan would spend the whole time geeking out.


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