So what is a Biosphere?
You'd be forgiven for conjuring up images of the Eden Project. But it's not that. The scale for one is infinitely larger, encompassing towns and villages, as well as acres of unique and special countryside.
There are currently seven Biosphere Reserves in the UK (as well as many more around the globe) and a special project has been established to gain UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status at the Great Fen.
Becoming a UNESCO Biosphere gives international recognition of a regions value.
To be recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere, the area of land must have a strong identity, excellent resources management and a focus on learning and innovation.
The Fens Biosphere aims to bring people, nature and science together to provide a great quality of life in the fens without exhausting or damaging the resources in the area. These resources include an exceptional environment and wildlife; the natural resources of land, soil and water and lastly (but not least) the people who live and work in its communities.
The Water Works Project
Water Works is a three year project aiming to look at ways to develop a more sustainable future for fenland resources – its soil, water and people. Through the project we are trialing new farming methods designed to protect our precious peat soils and water resources, by using new science and technology to develop and monitor these techniques and by applying for UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status to support and unite people to create a thriving fenland economy and countryside.
The project is managed by a partnership between the Wildlife Trust Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire; Cambridgeshire ACRE, The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the University of East London and is funded by a grant awarded in 2019 by the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund: a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Find out more about Water Works in our short film: