Farmers, nature conservationists and local communities in The Fens, on the border between Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, are celebrating the culmination of a pioneering three-year landscape partnership project that has brought 12 local wildlife-friendly farmers together to establish the new Ouse Washes Nature Friendly Zone.
The Ouse Washes Nature Friendly Zone comprises 12 Fenland farmers, whose combined land covers an impressive 4,000 hectares of the Fens – an area that would cover more than a third of the city of Cambridge – in a part of the country that is particularly rich in nature, and especially farmland birds.
Patrick Allpress of Allpress Farms, near Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, joined the Ouse Washes Nature Friendly Zone in 2015:
“It’s important to have nature in mind when farming as everything we do can affect the balance of nature. As well as cultivating the fields we’re responsible for looking after miles of ditches, many trees and hedges, field grass margins, conservation headlands, wild bird mixed covers and over-wintered stubbles, which all can create a habitat and have a positive impact on nature. The Fens is a special area with big large open spaces and we should be doing everything we can to encourage nature.”
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