Holme Fen exploring

Holme Fen is not far from Oundle and Peterborough and is a National nature reserve full of interest.

It is part of an area of fen containing two National nature reserves being developed to create a larger more sustainable area of fenland . The project is called Great Fen.

The Great Fen is an expanse of nationally significant fen landscape between Peterborough and Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The area contains many farms and villages as well as two National Nature Reserves, Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen, home to some very special wildlife.

My first visit was to an area near the Holme posts. These are tall metal posts that were driven into the surface of the peat in 1850. These post stand tall above the land surface now as over time the peat has shrunk due to drainage. The peat shrunk dramatically changing the landscape.

Tim is pointing to the peat level in 1870 the top of the pole is 1850!

There is a really varied environment to discover here on one side of the track , woodland mainly silver birch . On the other a mere with water birds. Both our trips have been in February, there are thousands of foxgloves ready to look spectacular in June. Definitely worth more visits through the year.

One of the features of the woods are the horse shoe bracket fungus . There are a large number of fungi to discover at this site. While walking woodpeckers are drumming and small birds are flirting around constantly.

The colours of the bracket fungi in the leaf litter is fantastic.

Looking up at trees with fungi making fantastic shapes.

There is plenty of green in these woods with bright green mosses and fungi.

The ditches that run along side the woods promise to be full of dragonflies and damselflies as the year progresses.

Snowdrops carpeted an area of wood which wasn’t dominated by silver birch and looked fairy tale like in the the moss.

There is so much to see and discover at this amazing place . We will be back through the year .


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