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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK
£500,000 boost for fens reserve
Woodwalton Fen
The Fens was once England's most extensive wetland
A piece of farmland the size of 45 football pitches has been bought as part of an ambitious 50-year project to restore Cambridgeshire's Great Fen.

Grants provided the £500,000 for Cambs Wildlife Trust to buy the 80 acres next to Holme Fen National Nature Reserve.

Over two years the land will be restored to wet grassland, benefiting birds such as lapwing and snipe.

Better water management in Holme Fen will also improve the habitat for water-loving species.

The Great Fen Project, to safeguard wildlife habitats by eventually restoring more than 7,200 acres between Peterborough and Huntingdon, is a partnership between English Nature, the Environment Agency, Huntingdonshire District Council and the Wildlife Trust.

Grants to buy the 80 acres came from Biffaward (£194,965), the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (£98,850), English Nature (£90,000), the Tubney charitable Truest (£72,065) and Environment Agency (£120,000).

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