A local habitat for one of the UK’s rarest spiders has undergone improvements to allow visitors to enjoy some stunning views of the surrounds.
A raised walkway has been built at Middle Fen at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Redgrave and Lopham Fen, while ten more turf ponds in the Great Fen area of the reserve to benefit species such as the rare fen raft spider.
The raft spider, which was first discovered in Britain at the reserve in 1956, was until relatively recently only known at two other UK sites. But following a pioneering translocation project, headed by Dr Helen Smith, they can now be found at the Trust’s Carlton Marshes and in strong numbers at Castle Marshes.
Richard Young, valley fens warden who has been carrying out the work at the site, said: “We are really pleased with how the work has gone on the site. We want to create a site that is good for wildlife and good for visitors.”
“The raised walkway means that people will be able to get a really good view over the fenland and really appreciate this wild, watery landscape made up of sedge, rush, heath and hundreds of pools.”
He added: “By creating more ponds on the site it means we have more open water, which is extremely important for species such as the fen raft spider. Redgrave and Lopham is the original location for the spider in Britain, so it is really important we do all we can to maintain them.”
The work has been funded by the Environment Agency, Essex and Suffolk Water and Natural England