South Lincolnshire Fenlands
Restoring a lost landscape for people and wildlife
|Download Fenland Survey Form|
|The Baston and Thurlby Fenland Re-creation Project Team are interested in your views. Please fill in and return this survey form.|
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|Download the Wet Fens Partnership leaflet|
|The leaflet documents the large-scale wetland restoration projects currently being undertaken by various organisations and partnerships in the Fens.|
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This exciting project aims to re-create fenland habitat adjacent to two nature reserves in the fens of Lincolnshire.
What has been lost?
- The fens are a unique and special area but wildlife-rich habitats have all but disappeared.
- Less than 1% of Eastern England's 'wild-fen' wetlands remain - and the surviving fragments are scattered and vulnerable.
- The special plants and animals associated with these wetlands are now rare or threatened with extinction.
- People living in the fens today find little evidence of their wild and historic wetland heritage.
The fenland landscape now
How it could look in the future
Expanding the existing fenland
Baston and Thurlby Fen Nature Reserves are the most important remaining areas (55 hectares) of wet-fenland in Lincolnshire. Managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, these reserves are the last strongholds for many rare and endangered plants, birds and invertebrates.
In winter large numbers of wildfowl including wigeon, teal and mallard are attracted to the flooded washlands. In summer dragonflies hawk over peaty pools which hold rare aquatic plants such as frogbit, fen pondweed and greater water-parsnip.
The reserves are nationally important and designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Part of the Baston Fen reserve has also been designated as a European Special Area of Conservation.
Restoring the South Lincolnshire Fenlands will provide:
- a fenland heritage site accessible to local people and visitors for recreation and for learning about the wildlife and culture of the fens;
- sustainable local employment, managing the wetlands and livestock, catering for visitors and working with wetland products such as reed and willow;
- additional Environmental Stewardship grants for farmers;
- new habitats for wildlife, contributing to achievement of Lincolnshire, East Midlands and UK Biodiversity Action Plan targets;
- a more diverse landscape, standing out from surrounding cultivated areas;
- flood storage areas to improve protection from flooding; and
a cushion to the effects of climate change on wetland habitats and species.
Restoring wetlands adjacent to remaining rich and diverse wildlife reserves is the most cost efficient and effective way of safeguarding our wetland heritage.
Studies have shown that it is feasible to re-create up to 800 hectares of wetland, grassland and woodland on the peaty ground close to Baston and Thurlby Fen nature reserves.
This and other fenland re-creation projects proposed for Lincolnshire and East Anglia cover less than 2.5% of the Fens, the remainder of which will continue to be used predominantly for agriculture. Farming will also continue on much of the restored wild fenland, with grazing stock replacing cereals and other crops. There may also be scope for the reintroduction of traditional activities, such as ice skating.
The Project Area
This proposal to re-create up to 800 hectares of wetlands in south Lincolnshire at Baston and Thurlby Fens is part of an even larger proposal to restore large-scale wetlands (up to 10,000ha) within the East Midland and Anglian Fens.
The Fens have greater potential than anywhere in the UK for wetland restoration, and Wet Fens Partnership schemes are already underway at Woodwalton and Wicken Fens.
Willow Tree Farm
In March 2009, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust secured for the purchase of 283 acres at Willow Tree Farm in the south of the county. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural England, Environment Agency and the Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership we are able to embark on an ambitious scheme to recreate wild fen habitat. Willow Tree Farm, a former fenland washland, is linked to our two existing fenland nature reserves by the River Glen and the wildlife-rich Counter Drain. This is an exceptional opportunity to increase Lincolnshire's remaining fenlands by 200%.
The project is supported by:
Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group
Lincolnshire County Council
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Rural Development Agency
South Kesteven District Council
Welland and Deepings IDB
It will contribute to achievement of Lincolnshire, East Midlands and UK Biodiversity Action Plan targets.
For further information about the project contact:
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Manor House Street
Lincolnshire LN9 5HF
Tel: 01507 526667
Fax: 01507 525732
( Paintings and line drawings copyright Michael Wood )