Catfield Fen is home to more than 2,750 species, making it one of the UK’s most important wildlife havens – 250 of these species are high priority concern for conservation efforts. 

Swallowtail butterfly Broadland fens are the last habitat in the UK of the magnificent swallowtail butterfly, whose larvae feed exclusively on rare milk parsley plants, found at Catfield Fen. This spectacular insect is our only resident butterfly of the Papilionidae family, which is one of the largest butterfly families in the world.

Fen orchid Catfield is home to the UK’s largest colony of the fen orchid, one of the country’s rarest flowers. Brightening up the wetlands, its glossy leaves wrap around the bottom of a single stem, supports several small cream flowers towards the top of the plant.

Marsh harrier These beautiful birds are medium-sized raptors that depend on marshland and dense reedbeds for hunting. It was extinct at the beginning of the 20th century, but now numbers are slowly increasing after re-introduction in the 1950s and 60s.

Water Rail The water rail breeds in reed beds and other marshy sites with tall, dense vegetation, building its nest a little above the water level from whatever plants are available nearby.

Bittern Part of the heron family, bitterns have been natives of Catfield Fen for centuries. This unusual bird whose future is endangered needs marshland to survive.

Norfolk Hawker The iconic Norfolk dragonfly is one oftwo brown hawker dragonflies found in the UK. This stunning insect has clear untinted wings, green eyes and a yellow triangular mark on the second abdominal segment.

King Beetle This is the largest, rarest and most threatened large water beetle in the UK. At nearly 40mm long and stoutly built, it’s a beetle that rightly deserves its regal name.