Size: 205 acres (83 hectares)
Restoration began: 2004
The first area of Great Fen land to be purchased was Darlow's Farm in 2002, adjacent to Woodwalton Fen. Its purchase enlarged the existing nature reserve by 40%. This ground-breaking start to the Great Fen project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The following years have seen significant changes at Darlow's Farm under the management of Natural England.
Water levels have been raised by installing sluices and dams. Cattle, including Highland Cattle, help to create variety in grass lengths, and natural water areas. From the north and west banks of Woodwalton Fen you get beautiful views out over wet meadows, with some water lying on the fields during winter and spring. This attracts wintering birds and nesting waders, such as Lapwing and Snipe, whose chicks rely on the wet soils to feed.
Currently the fields are grazed by herds of Hereford and Angus cattle from May to November and a small amount of hay is cut on the site in July.
Darlow's Farm is the original home of Darlow's Cottage, currently being rebuilt at Ramsey Rural Museum as an example of a First World War pre-fabricated dwelling. There was a also a building that once housed prisoners of war, but now all that is left is rubble and a tall conifer, once a humble Christmas tree planted in the garden.
It is possible to look across Darlow's Farm from the clay bank around Woodwalton Fen. Please see here for visiting information.
The area can be located on this map of the Great Fen.