We are extremely grateful for the support of our President and Patrons.
His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, visited Woodwalton Fen in March 2007. In April 2007, Stephen Fry wrote a letter to the Prince inviting him to become Royal Patron of the Great Fen. In the reply, his Private Secretary said:
“The Prince of Wales is simply thrilled to become Patron of this splendid project and is so touched that you should have thought to invite him”.
In 2013 the Prince announced that he was extending his patronage for another 5 years.
Actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry became President of the Great Fen in 2006.
Stephen's support for the Great Fen has included launching the Great Fen concerts in King's College, Cambridge and holding a fundraising dinner in Queen's College, Cambridge. He said:
"In a lifetime given over to fatuity, frivolity and foolishness it pleases me to know that I have done one thing right. I have become involved with the Great Fen project.
"I can’t remember a more inspiring day than the one I spent being shown round the Great Fen at Woodwalton."
Stephen grew up in this region, and has a special affinity with the area. He said:
"I cannot recommend warmly enough a visit to the Great Fen. Only when you have communed with its wetness, wildness and wondrous wealth of wildflowers, songbirds, birds of prey, reeds, sedge and trees will you properly appreciate the staggering beauty and importance of this unique habitat."
Sir John Major, the former Prime Minister and for 22 years MP for Huntingdon, became a Patron of the Great Fen in 2005.
"What delights me as someone who has lived in the area a long time is seeing this land being brought back into traditional use."
"Unique is a word that is used too frequently, but this really is a unique project and landscape.”
Beth Rothschild is the grand-daughter of Sir Charles Rothschild, who bought the first ever nature reserves in Britain, including Woodwalton Fen. She has given support to several international environmental organizations focused on protecting biodiversity, and in particular plants and their habitats. Her work in the field of horticulture has also contributed significantly to progress in conservation and environmental issues. She has been a Patron since 2007.
Sir Tim Smit is a Dutch-born British businessman, famous for his work on the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project, both in Cornwall. He has been a Patron of the Great Fen since 2007.
Nigel Marven is a British wildlife presenter, television producer, author, and ornithologist. His work as a producer for the BBC included Incredible Journeys and The Life of Birds with David Attenborough and he went on to be the presenter of Walking with Dinosaurs and many other wildlife programmes. Nigel has been a Patron since 2009 and his support has included giving a special talk in Cambridge to raise money for the Great Fen. Nigel said:
"I was so impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers, I jumped at the chance to be a Patron of such an important and heart-warming project. In my lifetime, I am sure, that with a bit of help from all of us, flocks of majestic cranes will be gliding down to nest in England's Everglades.”
Our thanks also go to the Great Fen Campaign Executive Group, including Baroness Barbara Young, Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey, and Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire. This group have been instrumental in gaining high level support and funding for the Great Fen.