Wet Farming

Big Ideas

Wet Farming

Sphagnum Moss - Vicky Nall

Water Works is a pioneering project, funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund, to study new wet farming techniques that could restore the peat to the Cambridgeshire Fens and help mitigate climate change. As part of the three year Water Works project (ending 2022) the Wildlife Trust BCN has created field scale trials of wet farming to test innovative new crops for food, healthcare and industry, and to lock in carbon. Peatlands cover only 3% of the world’s land surface but hold 25% of the global soil carbon; making them the world’s most effective carbon stores holding. However, if drained, they excessively emit carbon rather than storing it due to decomposition of organic matter.
Paludiculture is the productive use of wet peatlands; a land management technique to cultivate commercially interesting crops on wet or rewetted peatlands under conditions that maintain the peat body, facilitate peat accumulation and sustain the ecosystem services associated with natural peatlands. 
A large part of the project is working with local farmers, food producers and landowners to create and test this new way of farming and to share any lessons learned along the way. 

The Water Works Project

Water Works Logo

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 Funda grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Find out more about Water Works in our short film:

Water Works project partner logos
Peoples Postcode Lottery Dream Fund logo