Fen Vision misunderstood

WITH regard to Mr Woollard s correspondence in last week s edition of the Ely Standard, we feel we must correct his misunderstanding about the Wicken Fen Vision. Mr Woollard has concerns that the re-wetting of the landscape will undermine the Lode banks

WITH regard to Mr Woollard's correspondence in last week's edition of the Ely Standard, we feel we must correct his misunderstanding about the Wicken Fen Vision.

Mr Woollard has concerns that the re-wetting of the landscape will 'undermine the Lode banks' and implies that this would 'play into the hands of the Environment Agency'.

It is understandable that he feels very worried about any possible threat to the Lodes. However, we reiterate that the National Trust does not wish to see the Lodes lowered or dispensed with. We are going to the great expense of building bridges across the Lodes so that people can access the countryside - we recognise the historical significance of the Lodes within the landscape.

Secondly, he claims that by its very nature, the vision will undermine the Lode banks from the outside. This is untrue. The National Trust will not undermine the Lode banks through its land management. We take expert scientific and engineering advice to ensure this is the case.


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The Wicken Fen Vision does not involve wetting or flooding all the land within the National Trust's ownership. While the water level will be raised in some areas, others will be managed to provide a variety of wet and dry habitats for wildlife - eg: woodland, scrub and grassland - and to secure public access.

The Environment Agency's report was commissioned to investigate the long-term sustainability and maintenance of the Lodes and the effects of continued land drainage and potential rewetting. We did not state that we accepted the lowering of the Lodes - in fact, if this was the recommendation, we would object.

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Mr Woollard is entitled to his opinion about the National Trust but we would encourage him to understand the facts behind the Wicken Fen Vision before he jumps to any more conclusions.

We would invite readers to log onto www.wicken.org.uk to learn more about what we hope to achieve.

NICK CHAMPTION

The National Trust

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