BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wetlands -

Recre­at­ing a wet­land is ul­ti­mately about in­ter­ven­ing less. But get­ting to a stage where the nat­u­ral as­sets of a site can de­velop un­fet­tered means, in many cases, first un­do­ing cen­turies of man­age­ment and drainage.

The Great Fen Project in Cam­bridgeshir­e is the largest of its kind in Europe. The restora­tion, span­ning 50 years, will cre­ate an in­ter­con­nect­ing mo­saic of valu­able habi­tats in­clud­ing open wa­ter, reedbed, wet and dry grass­land, bog, heath and carr (damp wood­land). It will also mas­sively in­crease ca­pac­ity for stor­ing flood­wa­ter and car­bon, and al­low for vis­i­tor ac­cess and com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity such as reed-cut­ting and graz­ing of beef cat­tle. Recre­at­ing wet­land on such a large scale pro­vides un­ri­valled po­ten­tial for man­ag­ing land for pro­tected species, and un­furls a gi­ant wel­come mat for an ar­ray of vis­it­ing and colonis­ing species.

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