Earth Cafe – Importance of Wetlands and impact on Climate Change

The November 2023 Ely Earth Cafe focused on the Importance of Wetlands and its impact on Climate Change.

“Halfway between land and water, wetlands are one of nature’s little gems. Brimming with life and vital for fighting climate change, 40% of all plants and animals live and breed in wetlands and more than one billion people depend on them for their living.” (Greenpeace).

There are many wetlands within or just beyond the East Cambridgeshire area like the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Kingfishers Bridge Nature Reserve, RSPB Lakenheath Fen, RSPB Ouse Fen and the Ouse Washes, and Welney Wetland Centre.

In addition, there is Chippenham Fen managed by Natural England and numerous ponds and wetland areas near the River Ouse including Roswell Pits near Ely.

There was a presentation on the New Life on the Old West Project.  The project is delivering  wildlife habitat enhancements in green spaces and surrounding countryside within areas close to the Old West River in the Cambridgeshire Fens. create a series of small-scale habitat improvements – ponds, scrapes and wildflower meadows – in the arable landscape, the extensive ditch network and community green spaces. Together, these improvements will create a more resilient landscape in the Cambridgeshire Fens; connecting dispersed species and habitats, while creating demonstration sites for others to learn from.

Helen and Terry Moore, who are actively involved with the  Wildlife Trust and are licensed to carry out surveys of Great Crested Newts amongst other animals also talked about the importance of Wetlands and stimulated some discussion on its impact on Climate Change.

Small discussion Group led by Jethro
Helen Moore talking about the Great Fen

Additional Resources

Click on the images below for more information.

From The Conversation

Suggestions for local volunteering opportunities with other organisations working on wildlife include:

– Ely Wild Space:
– Cambs and Bedfordshire Wildlife Trust: Opportunities: or:
– Wildfowl and Wetlands trust at Welney:
– RSPB (Nearest reserves are Fowlmere, Lakenheath and Snettisham) but there is a project with farmers in East cambs which may need volunteers soon: or ask Jethro to see if any opportunties are advertised internally.
– BTO bird surveys:
– Wicken fen bird ringing group: more info on Bird Ringing here:
– There are also numerous local groups such as that in Mepal who run their own conservation projects.

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