Our wild places
Our woods, wetlands and fens are under threat from the weather. Find out how we are working with local communities to secure the future of our places for future generations.
It’s said that ancient woodland is the natural world’s equivalent of a Grade 1 listed building. These natural woodlands have been around for well over 400 years, but with only two percent surviving, the fight is on to save them before it’s too late. Nowhere is this more true than at Fingle Woods, nestling on the edge of Dartmoor.
With its own ‘bears’, rare fish of Ice Age ancestry and 400 year old forests this nine mile long valley in the west of the Lake District feels like another country. There’s a Scandinavian feel to the remote landscape and a project now in its twelfth year is ‘re-wilding’ the valley, gradually unpicking 4,000 years of human influence to allow nature to determine the future. And those ‘bears’ are playing a role too.
We've looked after Wicken Fen for over 100 years, and it's one of the most important wetland nature reserves in Britain. A surviving fragment of the Great Fen Basin, the huge expanse of wetlands and fens that stretched from Cambridge to the Wash. Natural historians have long been fascinated by its wildlife - Charles Darwin collected beetles here in the 1820s. And at the turn of that century it became a regular study site for pioneering botanists.
The term iconic is often overused, but the High Peak Moors truly merits that description - this one ticks all the icon boxes. It secured its place in countryside history with the ‘mass trespass’ at Kinder in 1932; its massive 40 square miles encompass rocky tors, dramatic hanging valleys, cloughs and a remote peat bog. The rich wildlife mix ranges from peregrines to sphagnum mosses. The High Peak Moors are also important for people. They are enjoyed by millions of visitors each year from the big cities that surround the Peak District National Park and provide a living for many people who farm and work there in other ways.