Protect and restore Lincolnshire's last wild fenlands

Less than 1% of Lincolnshire's wild fenland remains undrained. The special plants and animals associated with these lost wetlands are now rare or threatened with local extinction.

Lincolnshire's Wild Fen Appeal

Help us create a living fenland landscape for wildlife and people.

The last remnants of the wild fenlands in Lincolnshire cover just 55 hectares within two nature reserves. They shelter the last of Lincolnshire's natural, inland fenland landscapes and some of its special wildlife. But they are too small to support some of the larger fenland birds and animals, and possibly too small to cope with the changing climate.

Willow Tree Farm, a former fenland washland which is linked to the remaining fenland reserves by the River Glen and the wildlife-rich Counter Drain, provides an exceptional opportunity to increase Lincolnshire's remaining fenlands by 200%.

Purchase of the land at Willow Tree Farm will allow us to:

  • Re-create habitat where much of the special wildlife has disappeared. It will provide a place to live for declining birds such as snipe, redshank and reed bunting, and birds lost from the Lincolnshire's fens for over 100 years like bittern, corncrake and possibly even crane. It will also provide a secure site for endangered plants such as greater water parsnip; rare fish such as spined loach; dozens of rare invertebrates including hairy dragonfly and fenland diving beetle; and mammals including water vole and otter.
  • Re-establish wildlife friendly grazing regimes using local and rare breeds of cattle and sheep.
  • Re-connect our fenland landscape. Willow Tree Farm is close to the last remaining wild fen in Lincolnshire at the Baston & Thurlby Fenland nature reserves, and linked to them by the wildlife-rich Counter Drain and River Glen.

This restored, undrained, wet fen would also act like a sponge, soaking up the heaviest rains and allowing water to seep slowly through, helping to defend villages and farms from flash floods.

An enormous amount of money is required to purchase the land and we are working hard to raise as much as possible from a variety of sources. But your contribution, large or small, will move us towards our target and help attract funds from other sources.

The purchase and restoration of wild fen at Willow Tree Farm is part of a wider project, supported by a range of wildlife and environmental organisations. The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, with extensive experience of habitat management and restoration, is the leader in this project.

We will continue to search for further opportunities.