FEATURE: RSPB LAKENHEATH FEN

"A brilliant place! My first visit so didn't know what to expect. I have fallen in love with this place and will definitely be back. Saw 3 cranes- beautiful birds! The RSPB have created a wonderful reserve." Alex Best

Find RSPB Lakenheath Fen at: IP27 9AD | Email them here  | Phone 01842 863400
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http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/lakenheathfen/about.aspx

Restoration
Lakenheath Fen reserve comprises a mixture of wetland and woodland south of the Little Ouse in Suffolk. It is best known for its breeding golden orioles. But the RSPB is also working hard to restore wetland habitats that will provide a home for many more species.

These form part of a broader network of wetlands across the fenland region, that will both restore its former biodiversity and help protect it from the threats posed by rising sea levels.

Wetland restored
Lakenheath Fen was once mostly carrot fields. Like many fenland sites, its wetlands had been lost to agriculture centuries before. Since 1995, however, we have been working to restore approximately 200 ha of the reserve to a wetland mosaic of washland, wet reedbed, ungrazed fen and wet grassland.

This has encouraged a variety of birds, including cranes, bitterns, bearded tits, marsh harriers, lapwings and redshanks, as well as other wetland wildlife. Our work includes grazing and controlling water levels.

Popular attraction
Lakenheath also protects an area of damp, poplar-dominated woodland. We are managing this habitat for its breeding golden orioles, which are a major attraction for birdwatchers in summer.

Visitors
At present the golden orioles remain Lakenheath's main attraction. As our work continues, however, we would like to increase visitor interest in the process of creating and looking after wetland habitats, and their broader range of year-round wildlife.

We are working to provide appropriate facilities for visitors, both RSPB members and the local community, to enable them to enjoy the sights and sounds of a large, natural-looking wetland.

We would like visitors to appreciate both what has been lost from the fens, and how conservation organisations are able to restore such areas for the future.