This section of the website describes the progress that is being made in converting previous arable fields into rich wildlife habitats.
Essentially the restored areas will be wetlands, so you might think that restoration will simply involve making them wet again. Certainly water levels can be raised by careful use of new and existing ditches and drains. But areas that were previously arable fields were enriched by continuous use of fertilisers and so the first part of the restoration process is to remove the excess and un-natural levels of nutrients. This can be achieved over several years using grass and grazing by stock.
Dykes and ditches provide a vital function in moving water from one place to another but they are also very important as wildlife havens. The dykes throughout the Great Fen are being managed to increase the diversity of wildlife, including numbers of water plants, dragonflies and the endangered Water Vole. In some areas, ditches are being 're-profiled' - creating more gradual slopes into the ditch to provide the right conditions for more plants to thrive
The mosaic of habitats intended for the Great Fen will include pools, larger meres and reedbeds. Creating such features involves careful survey work, followed by the use of some large-scale earth moving equipment. The first of these areas to be created is known as Rymes Reedbed and lies northeast of Holme Fen. The adjacent area to the east will be known as Kester's Docking and here you can read about the process of designing and creating this huge area.
These pages list all the areas currently under restoration and descibe the most recent work being undertaken there.
This page summarises all the habitat types that are being developed across the Great Fen, linking them to UK Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat types.
Photographs are being taken regularly from 43 points around the Great Fen and this provides a fascinating insight into the progess of restoration.
To identify the locations of the various areas of the Great Fen described in this section please see the Project Area Map