BBC nomination for Ouse Fen nature reserve
By Caroline Jacobsson, Wed, 02/10/2013 - 09:40
RSPB Ouse Fen, otherwise known as The Hanson - RSPB wetland project, has been nominated as ‘Britain’s Favourite Nature Reserve’ in the BBC’s Countryfile Magazine Awards 2013. RSPB is BirdLife in the UK.
Hanson is HeidelbergCement in the UK and since 2011 BirdLife has been engaged in a Partnership with HeidelbergCement aiming to further improve the protection of biodiversity at quarry sites in Europe.
The nominated reserves were selected by nature writer Mark Cocker and Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison. Ouse Fen is described as ‘A vast wetland habitat project, but it already has so many birds that it gives you hope for the future’. True to the nomination, this news comes at the end of a bumper breeding birds season for the reserves key species with booming Bitterns, nesting Marsh Harriers and Bearded Tits all reaching new highs.
Chris Hudson, RSPB Project Manager, said: “As the reserve is still relatively unknown outside the local area, we’re both surprised and delighted to be nominated. Our partners Hanson and our team of staff and volunteers have worked wonders to create a home at Ouse Fen for a wealth of wildlife, including many threatened species. Though only formally opened to the public last year, improvements continue so that the wildlife and wide open spaces here can be shared by all.”
The Hanson-RSPB wetland project first broke ground in 2002 but now has over 200ha of wetland habitat full of life. Hanson and the RSPB are working together to transform a working sand and gravel quarry into a vast nature reserve, eventually to be the largest reedbed in the UK. Simple visitor facilities are centred around waymarked trails and public rights of way which wind through the slowly growing wetland landscape.
Quarry Manager, Hilton Law, said: “It’s rewarding for all those involved in the partnership to see that our mineral restoration work is creating a natural resource that is already valued by visitors and the community and home to so much wonderful wildlife. Since the quarry has many years to run the reserve will in time offer even more.”
Further information: Chris Hudson, RSPB Project Manager 01954 233266 or 07766441863 email@example.com RSPB Fens Area Office, The Grange, 20 Market Street, Swavesey, Cambridge, CB24 4QG