Celebrate World Wetlands Day at Wicken Fen

Wicken Fen

Wicken Fen - Credit: Archant

Wicken Fen’s team of rangers will be leading a guided walk of the nature reserve on Sunday, as part of global celebrations to mark World Wetlands Day.

World Wetlands Day marks the signing of the RAMSAR convention in 1971. The international treaty provides a framework for national action and international co-operation for the conservation of wetlands and their resources.

Across the globe, 2,186 wetlands have been designated RAMSAR sites, covering more than 208 million hectares.

The 254 hectare Wicken Fen reserve was designated a Wetland of International Importance in September 1995. The fen is a unique remnant of the Great Fen Basin, which once covered the vast lowlands of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire, an area of approximately 3,850 sq km.

Today the vast majority of the land area has been drained for agriculture, with only around 0.1 per cent surviving in its original un-drained state.

Since 1999, the National Trust has created an additional 200 hectares of wetland habitat as part of the Wicken Fen Vision.

Young people visiting Wicken Fen are being encouraged to enter a wetlands youth photo contest, organised by the RAMSAR secretariat.

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The competition is open to anyone aged between 15-24 years of age. Photographs need to be taken on a digital camera or phone between February 2 and March 2 and uploaded to the World Wetlands Day website at www.worldwetlandsday.org

The winning photographer will receive a free flight to a famous wetland of their choice, courtesy of Star Alliance Biosphere Connections.

The World Wetlands Day guided walk will start from the Wicken Fen Visitor Centre at 1pm on Sunday. Further information is available on 01353 720274.