A bold vision is coming to life at Ouse Fen - we are busy turning the largest sand/gravel quarry in southern England into the country’s largest reed bed! Last month, 96ha of restored land was transferred from Hanson Aggregates to the RSPB at Ouse Fen. This means that the nature reserve now covers an area of 218ha!
One day, this reed bed should be crammed with bitterns, marsh harriers and other amazing wildlife, while providing 30km of new rights of way. In the face of climate change, this project is all the more important. The coastal strongholds of bitterns, marsh harriers and bearded tits are at risk from sea level rise and storm surges; it is therefore vital that new homes for nature are created.
The reserve is already home to ten booming bitterns, six pairs of marsh harriers and lots of bearded tits, as well as otters and water voles. We also hope that the reserve will be used by colonising species such as egrets over the coming years. With another 15 years to go, this exciting project is just beginning!
Image credit: Ben Andrews (rspb-images)
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