In my first post I described the landscape that the South Lincolnshire Walking Festival will cover – North and South Kesteven, Boston and South Holland. This time I’m focusing on the Fenland landscape between Spalding and Bourne, where big, open skies are a blank canvas for cloud formations, spires and steeples dot the horizon and huge flocks of birds take flight beside strangely named waterways.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s South East Warden John Oliver and South Lincolnshire Fenlands Partnership’s Amanda Jenkins who gave me a tour of the wild and beautiful Willow Tree Fen. According to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust the purchase of Willow Tree Fen in 2009 increased Lincolnshire’s wild fenland by 200%.
The Nature Reserve is an evocative place that makes you want to explore as there’s something different to see at every turn. I particularly enjoyed discovering ‘THE’ willow tree from which the Fen takes its name and hearing all about the Trust’s plans for the site. There’s ample parking, great interpretation areas and facilities. John and Amanda are enthusiastic supporters of the South Lincolnshire Walking Festival, planning on leading walks on and from Willow Tree Fen but also running various family activities and registering walks in the local area and involving local landowners and businesses who have a passion for the fenland, its wildlife and its heritage.
As I left the nature reserve I was struck by the unusual names in the surrounding countryside. Pode Hole, Tongue End, Twenty Drain, Guthram Gowt, Cowbit…. Can’t wait to find out about the stories behind those names!
Watch this space for more information on walks on or near to Willow Tree Fen but until then here some links you might find useful if you’re planning on visiting the area: