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Wicken Fen

Yellow Flag Iris at Wicken Fen - National Trust Photo Library/JoeWicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, owned by the National Trust, is one of Britain's oldest nature reserves. Forming around 325 hectares of wetland, it is one of the last remnants of the traditional landscapes of the fens. It supports 7,000 species, including over 120 Red Data Book species and has designations including status as a Special Area of Conservation and a Ramsar site. Despite its long history, impressive species list and high visitor numbers, in its current form Wicken is too small and too isolated to have a sustainable future.

The National Trust's intent is to turn Wicken Fen into an invaluable social, economic and environmental resource. The aim is to increase the Fen tenfold, by acquiring 3,700 hectares of surrounding arable land to return it to wetland, creating what will be equivalent to a new mini National Park. As well as securing Wicken's long term future, this will create substantial social and economic benefits for the Cambridge sub-region and the East of England as a whole.

Natural England will play a vital role in realising the potential of large-scale landscape and ecosystem restoration projects like the Wicken Vision, helping to break down the barriers. As a strong regional player, the Agency will have a unique and strategic view of the public and environmental needs of the region and an ability to ensure these are reflected effectively in the land use planning system.

Children on a Bug Safari at Wicken Fen - National Trust PhotoThe Agency will be able to integrate and target investment in the environment where it contributes most to environmental and public well-being and to foster wider support from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Through being both a strategic environmental champion and a provider of practical support, the Integrated Agency will help the Wicken Vision achieve its ambitious goal.

  Page last modified: 6 April, 2006
Page published: 10 February, 2005
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