Ham Fen is Kent’s last ancient, semi-natural fenland. Spanning over 53.62ha the fenland supports restricted and rare species to thrive and survive in. Ham Fen was also the site of a pioneering project which successfully trialled the return of the beaver to the UK back in 2002.
Kent Wildlife Trust, supported by The Coca-Cola ‘Replenish’ programme, has been successfully working to restore this slice of natural haven. Not only has the programme helped to improve water quality, but it’s also supported the development of habitat and promoted carbon sequestration through renovating and creating wetland features.
Most recently, community focused funding from Coca-Cola Europacific Partners has enabled Kent Wildlife Trust to transform a derelict bird hide into a fully functioning piece of infrastructure. Work has been completed to correct and strengthen the original structure as well as adding a new lease of life with new flooring, new walls, and bench seats. Leaving it fit for purpose and ready for use.
The hide overlooks an area of wetland which has already been restored through the funding of the Replenish programme and will be a core addition to Kent Wildlife Trust’s evolving community activities at Ham Fen. This includes providing a base from which to run their nature and wellbeing programmes, beaver safaris, educational and engagement events, as well as their advocacy work for nature-based solutions.
As Ham Fen is a closed reserve (not one accessible by the public) these activities are crucial for local engagement. Hannah Reid, Senior Project Officer at Kent Wildlife Trust says,
“The restored bird hide will make such a difference to the experience of the those who come to Ham Fen. It will enable more visitors to see and learn more about the incredible wildlife at the site without disturbing them.”
If you’re looking to get involved, Kent Wildlife Trust hold regular events including their ‘Wilder Kent Safari’ and Dusk Tours. You can find more information and book tickets via their events page, here.
Replenish 2020 — 2023
The Rivers Trust and The Coca-Cola Foundation are working together to increase understanding of freshwater environments across England and deliver critical improvements to rivers in London and Northumbria as well as an ancient fen in Kent. Collectively the projects will realise several benefits for the environment and local communities.