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Wicken Fen’s countryside manager retires after 27 years

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Wicken Fen’s countryside manager Martin Lester is retiring after 27 years at the site.

Martin Lester. Picture: Keith Heppell
Martin Lester. Picture: Keith Heppell

Since arriving in July 1995, as head warden, he has overseen Wicken Fen’s conservation work and ranger team, witnessing many changes at the nature reserve and within conservation.

He helped restore open fenland and launch the Wicken Fen Vision in 1999 to connect up areas for conservation. One of Martin’s first major projects was reviving the reedbeds, with the aim of restoring habitat for bitterns.

He said: “Prior to the Wicken Fen Vision project, we decided we needed to create more ditches and open water in our reedbeds and lower the land levels. This has had the desired effect of re-establishing breeding bitterns back on site and securing the reedbeds for all the commoner species that call this landscape home.”

[Read more: 12 Konik pony foals are finding their feet at Wicken Fen]

He added: “After I leave, I hope the team at Wicken Fen continues to spread the news about everything they have achieved and continue to achieve. It is one of the best nature reserves in the country, a majorly important wetland and at the cutting edge of nature conservation.”

Martin Lester. Picture: Keith Heppell
Martin Lester. Picture: Keith Heppell

The National Trust runs the site. For more information, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/wicken-fen-nature-reserve.

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