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Wicken Fen

Location:Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

Habitats:Wetland

Livestock:Various breeds and types of livestock

In brief:Multi-functional, large scale habitat creation project with naturalistic grazing system in Cambridgeshire

Contact:Martin Lester

Tel:01353 720274

Email:martin.lester@nationaltrust.org.uk

Weblink:www.wicken.org.uk


The National Trust is proposing to acquire up to 3700 ha. of farmland to the south of Wicken Fen over the next 100 years thus extending the wetland to provide new and exciting benefits for people and wildlife. Much of the project involves the acquisition of land but it is also possible that agreements with existing local landowners, particularly around the fringes of the area can be set up which will still enable the aims and objectives of the project to be met. It is also envisaged that an access / recreation corridor can be set up at the southern end of the reserve to join the reserve to the centre of Cambridge thus enabling the new area to become the 'green lung' for the city.

Unlike Wicken Fen today which is managed very intensively using traditional techniques, the aim for the restored land is to manage it much more extensively using herds of grazing animals as well as growing 'green crops' such as reeds and bio fuel.

In parallel with the habitat restoration aspects of the project numerous new recreational features will be developed to allow local people, the residents of Cambridge and visitors from further afield to access and enjoy the area. Such features will include new footpaths, cycle tracks, horse trails and boating opportunities as well as more formal recreational facilities such as play grounds and potentially even sporting areas.

Grazing:

The first Highland cattle (one bull and six females) arrived at Wicken Fen on June 7th 2005, and have been grazing Baker's Fen ever since. Together with Konik ponies they form part of the extensive grazing of the southern part of the reserve.
They now have a total of eight calves, two bulls and six heifers, born during 2006