Where the River Great Ouse spills into the Cambridgeshire Fens, a reedbed is coming to life. We are working with Hanson to transform a working sand and gravel quarry into Ouse Fen nature reserve.
The reserve is being created in reedbed blocks, with pools of open water linked by ditches and channels, allowing wildlife to move freely. Once complete, the whole wetland will stretch 700 hectares and include the largest reedbed in the UK, spanning 460 hectares.
So far, Ouse Fen has already attracted a wealth of wildlife: species that were once common in the Fens are returning here to feed and breed. Swaying reedbeds are home to Marsh Harriers, Bearded Tits, Otters and the secretive Bittern. A visit at dawn or dusk may reveal a Barn Owl hunting over the grassland and scrubby margins. Ducks, grebes, swans and wading birds gather on the floodplain wetlands from autumn through to the spring.
Watch the amazing courtship ritual of Great Crested Grebes on the open water in spring, while summer is the best time to spot Reed Buntings at their best. Marsh Harriers and Little Egrets are a regular sight here, and Bearded Tits can often be seen balancing on the top of the reeds.