The National Trust are busy blocking access to local paths with large grazing animals: Highland cattle and wild 'konik' horses. Their aim is to try and create a nature reserve, but it is creating havoc for local people. Wicken resident Sarah writes:
Just to add a little story to this - The first monday of the half term holiday, my eldest son (14) cycled to Burwell along the cycle path from Wicken. On his was back (about 3.30pm), he encountered the herd of cattle across the path totally blocking it. He rang me and asked what he should do, I was not sure so rang the NT at Wicken fen. The person who answered the phone had no idea where my son was, and I was put on hold whilst he went to find a map!! He then came back on the line and told me to advise my son to 'go round the cattle and not disturb them'. This I told him was not possible as the cattle where right across the path and into the field. There was a gentleman in the fen building who offered to go back through the cattle, and then ride through them again with my son in tow (aparently he cycles quite frequently across this way from Burwell to Wicken and is used to the cows). If it hadnt been for this man, then I dont know what Adam would have done, except gone all the way back to Burwell and we would have had to pick him up. This really has highlighted to me the danger of having these wild animals loose across the fen, and my concern is that if we start to get an influx of 'town people' into this area who may not have the facility of being able to contact the fen for advice, then all sorts of trouble may occur. You imagine mum, dad and two small children on bikes using the cycle path and coming across the cattle, or a mum out for a walk with a pushchair. The fen did advise me that the cattle would be curious of people and may approach them, but told me to advise Adam not to stop and just bike through them!! I have written to the fen regarding this, and am still waiting for a reply from them.