Wheatfen is a magical nature reserve, hidden away near Norwich. In the heart of the Broads, it backs onto the River Yare. The Ted Ellis Trust look after the reserve and run regular events throughout the year. The reserve has open fens, reed beds and woodlands. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Ted Ellis, it is home to probably the best studied area of fenland in the entire world. Ted left a map showing the reserve in the 1930s with the hope it could return to that state, as it had become largely inaccessible.
It is a constant battle against invasive willow and scrub to allow the reed beds and dormant wildflowers to flourish again. We joined Will, the Reserve Warden to help continue the clearance of a 2-hectar site. Wellies did not protect some from the boggy, wet ground. Some then endured a day of ‘soggy socks’. The removed vegetation was piled into protective hedging for birds and wildlife to shelter in. New log piles became homes for smaller inhabitants to move into. The unearthed fen helps to store more carbon than tropical forest biomass. This represents a dense carbon stock. We revisited the site we cleared last year to be greeted by a wonderful reed bed, towering above our heads. Before and after pictures this site below.