2010 - Natural England, Woodwalton Fen

May 2010 - HDC Commissioned to design and fabricate a series of interpretive panels for Natural England's Woodwalton Fen NNR. The project is a joint efforts between Natural England and the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Peterborough Wildlife Trust.

Woodwalton Fen is a rare and isolated remnant of Fenland habitat lying at the lowest most westerly point of the East Anglian fens.

The reserve is a jewel of the Cambridgeshire Fens being one of very few remnants of fen habitat to survive the large scale drainage for agriculture between the 17th and 19th century which saw the loss of almost all the wetland habitat in the wider area.

It is an important refuge for many species of plant, animal and fungi which are confined to this precious relict habitat and includes many national rarities.

The reedbed to the north of the reserve has regular sightings of Marsh Harrier and also occasional glimpses of Crane and Bittern, while the central and southern areas have areas of mixed fen, thick scrub and woodland which are home to many species of bird and invertebrate. The open water bodies of the meres are often bustling with wildfowl, particularly during the winter months and the dykes criss-crossing through the site house many species of aquatic plant and invertebrate.

Star species: Woodwalton Fen is a true haven for fenland wildlife and houses many vulnerable and rare species. Many naturalists have visited Woodwalton Fen over the years, some alongside Charles Rothschild and many more since, providing long term records for the site and a glimpse at the flora and fauna of the past. A recent study by the University of East Anglia has highlighted the Fens of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire as a biodiversity hotspot being home to 25% of the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species and 82 species which are fen specialists.

The variety of fen habitat on the reserve, from open water through to dense woodland, provides for a wide range of species and there have been records for over 170 birds, almost 1000 species of moth, over 450 species of plant and 800 beetles. Keep your eyes peeled as you explore....you never know what you may see, and remember you can record your sightings at the entrance interpretation hut!