Willow Tree Fen

Willow Tree Fen

Sarah Craythorne

PLEASE NOTE: Willow Tree Fen is temporarily closed. The car park and a walk along the bank of the Counter Drain will be opened for spring 2022. Read more here.

Willow Tree Fen

Situated between Baston and Spalding, Willow Tree Fen is a relatively new nature reserve, transformed from arable land to a more traditional fenland landscape land to a more traditional fenland landscape.

In 2020, with the extra solitude created by lockdown, cranes returned to the Lincolnshire Fens and successfully raised a chick. They have now become largely resident, leaving the reserve only for a short period in the depths of winter.

Visitor Information

Ben Hall/2020VISION

Know before you go


  • Closed temporarily.
  • Small car park.
  • There are no toilet facilities available.

Opening times

The reserve is closed temporarily. The car park and a walk along the bank of the Counter Drain will be opened during November and December. Please check back soon for updates.

Visitor FAQs

We're making several changes at Willow Tree Fen nature reserve. Please have a read of our Frequently Asked Questions for the latest on management and visitor arrangements.

Willow Tree Fen FAQs

Group visits

Willow Tree Fen is not currently suitable for group visits.

Car park

Currently, there is limited parking on the roadside by the entrance to Willow Tree Fen which is opposite Bank House Farm (PE11 3JH). The reserve car park will be opened during November and December.

Location and contact details

Willow Tree Fen
Counter Drain Drove,
West of Spalding,
PE11 3JH

Please note, this postcode is for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves.

There is no access to Willow Tree Fen from the Macmillan Way or from Slipe Drove/West Pinchbeck.

OS Map Reference: TF 181 213

What3Words: ///dolphins.donates.puddings

Contact number: 01507 526667
Contact email: info@lincstrust.co.uk

Habitats and species

When the Trust bought Willow Tree Fen in 2009 it was intensively farmed arable land growing beans and cereals. Nature has recovered. Now a more traditional fenland landscape of shallow meres, seasonally flooded pastures, hay meadows and reedbeds, it is rich in wildlife.

Cattle graze Willow Tree Fen from April to November. They are an essential part of the management of the nature reserve. The cattle help to maintain the open conditions and prevent willow from invading the site.

Many of our iconic wetland species are now thriving including lapwing, redshank, skylark, water rail, marsh harrier, shelduck, snipe, greater water parsnip, hairy dragonfly, spined loach and otter.

In 2020, a pair of cranes arrived at Willow Tree Fen and bred on the reserve for the first time - a first for Lincolnshire for at least 400 years. They have now taken up residence and bred again in 2021.

Keep in touch

Give our social media pages a follow for the latest news and updates, or search for an event near Willow Tree Fen.

Make a donation

Help us to protect the special wildlife at Willow Tree Fen by making a donation today

Danny Green/2020VISION