South Lincolnshire Fenlands

South Lincs Fenlands cpt RB WilkinsonSouth Lincs Fenlands cpt RB Wilkinson

the last strongholds for many rare and endangered plants and animals

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

360 view

Our vision is to create a new, large fenland landscape for people and wildlife in southern Lincolnshire - centred on the nationally important Baston and Thurlby Fens Nature Reserves & Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves at Baston and Thurlby Fens near Bourne are the most important remaining areas of wet fenland in Lincolnshire - less than 1% of eastern England’s wild fen wetlands remain. They are also the last strongholds for many rare and endangered plants and animals.

The Trust’s vision is to restore and re-create up to 800 hectares of fen, wet grasslands, reedbeds, wet woodlands and open water between Bourne and Market Deeping, centred on Baston and Thurlby Fens. The process is underway, with more than 100 hectares of former arable land at Willow Tree Fen being transformed into wetland and associated habitats. The South Lincolnshire fenlands will form part of a wider network of restored habitats across the whole of The Fens National Character Area.

Working with local landowners, farm tenants, the mineral industry and local communities, the project partners are seeking to create a sustainably managed landscape in which wildlife and people will thrive.

Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane

360 view

What's happening?

The partnership is firmly established, farmers in the surrounding area have entered agri-environment schemes and Natural England has selected the area as one of three flagship projects to deliver The Wetland Vision.

The purchase and restoration of a traditional fenland landscape at Willow Tree Fen in South Holland is increasing Lincolnshire’s remaining fenland by 200%. Alongside the huge benefits for wildlife, Willow Tree Fen will provide access and activities that will encourage learning, exploration and discovery of the natural, cultural and historical features of this traditional landscape.

Scheme area: 3,500 hectares

Trust reserves within the scheme

Baston Fen SSSI (& partial SAC), Thurlby Fen SSSI, Pinchbeck Slipe

This scheme is helping species including...

175 bird species including lapwing, redshank, snipe and marsh harrier, teal, widgeon, mallard, Bewick's swan, pintail and goosander; dragonflies, damselflies, fenland diving beetle, water voles, otters; 73 species of mollusc; 300 plant species including rare pondweeds.

Current threats to the landscape

Habitat fragmentation

This scheme is also...

Baston Fen already provides flood risk management benefits, acting as a washland and storing tens and thousands of cubic metres of water. In summer 2007 it reduced the impact of flooding of farmland.


Natural England, Environment Agency, Local Authorities, Welland & Deeping  Drainage Board, Baston Environment Group, Sustrans, Waterside Garden Centre

To find out more

Email: | Tel: 01507 526667 | South Lincolnshire Fenlands

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Farming & wildlife

Find out more about our farmland conservation work with farmers and landowners, and on our own wildlife-friendly demonstration farms.