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Holme Fen National Nature Reserve - Cambridgeshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 52° 29.358 W 000° 13.806
30U E 688056 N 5819068
Quick Description: Holme Fen National Nature Reserve is the location of the most south-easterly raised bog in Britain. This is a special type of wetland typically found in the north-west. note the Holme Fen Nature Reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/28/2011 11:20:13 AM
Waymark Code: WMBK0P
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member condor1
Views: 3

Long Description:
The peatlands have formed very slowly over the last nine thousand years. They include upland blanket bogs and lowland raised bogs, as well as drained peatlands in agricultural uses. Peat soils provide a number of essential services and functions for society; supporting rare wildlife and biodiversity, storing reserves of carbon, producing food and playing an important role in the water cycle.

The UK has 15% of Europe’s peat resource. However, a majority of our peatlands are significantly degraded as a result of human activities and pollution. Defra’s long term policy is to protect peat soils, and promote management and restoration so future generations benefit from them.

in 1851/2 the mere was drained after years of falling water levels, leaving peat rich arable land that was ideal for crops such as potatoes and wheat.

Originally a team of men led by local landowner William Wells tried draining the land by digging ditches and drains hoping to remove the water via gravity, this was unsuccessful so a revolutionary Appold pump was purchased.
This was first seen at the Great Exhibition held in The Crystal Palace at Hyde Park, London, in 1851. This pump was believed to be able to remove almost 70 tons of water a minute so within weeks the mere was drained. Therefore the value of the land went up considerably and landowners became richer.

Before draining the Mere, Wells buried a cast iron post in the ground with its base resting on the underlying clay, and the uppermost point at ground level. This was to monitor the shrinkage of the land as the peat beds dried out. Peat is almost 90% water, therefore when the mere was drained the water within the peat evaporated over time and resulted in the shrinkage of the land. Also, the peat blows away and evaporates to give off carbon dioxide when exposed to the air. All this is known as peat ‘wastage’.

The top of the Fen posts now stands approx 4 metres (15ft) above the ground. As you stand in front of the posts, you are standing at one of the lowest points in England some 2 metres (7 ft) below sea level.

The Great Fen Project aims to join Holme Fen to nearby Woodwalton Fen. In so doing this will create a new landscape of wetland and drier areas which will protect the important plants and animals found in the reserves today, encourage the spread of new species and enable people to enjoy and be involved as the land gradually changes from arable farming to grassland and fen. It may take many years as the Project can only proceed as landowners are willing to sell their land

details taken from defra website and Holm Fen Nature Reserve

parking is in a small layby opposite the site there are deep dykes along the side of the road. and you will need to cross the mainline railway to gain access to this site.
Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Parking Coordinates: N 52° 29.370 W 000° 13.805

Access fee (In local currency): .00

Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no

Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no

Public Transport available: no

Website reference: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
No specific requirements, just have fun visiting the waymark.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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MeerRescue visited Holme Fen National Nature Reserve - Cambridgeshire 10/12/2014 MeerRescue visited it
Cassandy visited Holme Fen National Nature Reserve - Cambridgeshire 6/4/2011 Cassandy visited it

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