Wildlife campaigners set sights on unique status for Fenland

PUBLISHED: 12:45 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 30 January 2018

woodwalton fen

woodwalton fen

Archant

Fenland in Cambridgeshire could become an important UNESCO biosphere nature reserve if research into the proposal shows it is viable.

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire has been awarded almost £10,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to find out what is required to achieve the rare distinction for the land.

At present there are only six reserves in the country designated by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Biosphere reserves recognise a unique mix of plants and animals, together with a valued environment and way of life for people living in the area. They set out to provide a framework for projects which improve people’s lives and protect the environment in a sustainable way through conservation, development and logistical functions.

Biosphere reserves need to have a core area which is highly protected and are of at least European importance.

Kate Carver, manager of the Wildlife Trust’s Great Fen Project, which is creating a major wetland reserve near Huntingdon, said: “In a changing world, imaginative and innovative solutions are needed to tackle major challenges such as how we can protect the natural environment for everyone to enjoy whilst satisfying the needs of growing populations for homes and jobs, the key is communities working together to achieve sustainable development.

“We are thrilled that support from players of the National Lottery will enable us to move closer to a possible application to UNESCO.”

The funding will enable the trust to work with a range of organisations and interests - such as conservation groups, academics, businesses, farmers and councils - from across Cambridgeshire to identify what becoming a biosphere could mean for the Cambridgeshire fens.

A “route map” of how this could be achieved could then be drawn up.

The Wildlife Trust came up with the biosphere proposal after working on landscape scale through its Living Landscape initiative.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “On behalf of National Lottery players we are delighted to be able to fund this project that will enable the Wildlife Trust to work with partners to assess the feasibility of applying for a biosphere reserve destination for the important heritage which forms the Cambridgeshire fens.”

More news stories

47 minutes ago

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has launched the government’s first tree health strategy following on from his visit to Ely yesterday.

Yesterday, 18:22

A court battle was signalled tonight after the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority agreed to challenge the Home Office decision to allow police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite to seize control.

Yesterday, 17:39

Environment Secretary Michael Gove praised Cambridgeshire’s biggest tree nursery for being at ‘the cutting edge’ of protecting the environment.

07:55

More than 600 house fires in the Cambridgeshire area between April 2012 and March 2017 were started by a household appliance according to new figures.

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Wisbech Standard weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter