Wicken Vision Project Receives Overwhelming Public Support

PUBLISHED: 09:19 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 04 May 2010

THE ambitious project to extend Wicken Fen Nature Reserve and create an important conservation area in East Cambridgeshire has received overwhelming public support. A public consultation - launched by the National Trust earlier this year - has found that

THE ambitious project to extend Wicken Fen Nature Reserve and create an important conservation area in East Cambridgeshire has received overwhelming public support.

A public consultation - launched by the National Trust earlier this year - has found that eight out of 10 people back the Wicken Fen Vision scheme.

"We're very grateful for the time and trouble that people have taken to attend our public meetings and complete our survey," said Philip Broadbent-Yale, the National Trust area manager.

"We're really pleased that more than eight out of 10 responses support our ideas for the future of the Vision.

"We've listened and learnt a lot over the past few months about what local people and visitors want from the Vision."

The proposed 56 square metres of open countryside between Cambridge and Wicken will attract a range of wildlife, including endangered and threatened species.

It is currently one of the most important nature reserves in Europe, and home to more than 8,000 species.

As well as natural benefits, local residents and visitors will be able to access the area for its proposed leisure, recreation and education facilities.

The consultation - titled Wicken Fen Vision - Your Chance to Shape the Future - found that 70 per cent of people think the project is an 'excellent idea'.

Around 13 per cent think it's a good idea on the whole, 11 per cent have some reservations about the project and six per cent were opposed to it.

But Geoffrey Woollard, of Ely, who is against the Wicken Fen Vision, said: "I am very unhappy about the whole scheme.

"Among other things, it is a desperate shame 15,000 acres of Fen land which could be used for growing food will be taken out of production."

N Drop-in sessions for specific groups who use Wicken Fen will be held at the Visitor Centre on September 27 (horse riders), October 4 (cyclists), October 11 (birdwatchers and others).

What Do You Think?

Do you support plans to expand the Wicken Fen Nature Reserve?

Write to: the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email the editor at: debbie.davies'archant.co.uk

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