Great Fen

Open Cambs Space

This area was once 'wild fen', a landscape rich in wildlife, but has seen dramatic changes through an eventful history. In the 17th century the fens of Eastern England were drained to create peat-rich farmland. This resulted in 99% of the wild fen being destroyed. Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen are two of the last remnants that remained but they were too small and isolated to continue to support the special fenland wildlife that had survived.

The Great Fen has also faced a second challenge - drainage and farming of the land has contributed to a rapid decline of peat. This loss has meant current farming practices are not sustainable in the long term and puts local livelihoods at risk. Peat loss is also bad for the environment as it causes carbon to be released into the atmosphere. The area needed landscape scale change.

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