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World Wetlands Day 2020

31 Jan 2020

Today is World Wetland’s Day and this year’s theme is the importance of wetland biodiversity. Did you know that 40% of the world’s plants and animal species live and breed in wetlands? Unfortunately, similar to the fast destruction of forests our wetlands are vanishing three times as fast. Extinction of land animals is commonly known, however our wetland wildlife is now under threat too with almost 1 million animals and plant species now threatened with extinction.

Wetlands are important for many reasons; they are important for wildlife, our land and our water supplies as well as protecting the climate. Peatland stores lock up over 30% of land based carbon, and are critical in our battle against climate change, while marshes, rivers and lakes help protect our water quality and provide food to millions of people across the planet. We can help make a difference by creating local wetland habitats and supporting your local conservation organisations.

The River Wensum which runs through Pensthorpe is a very special and fragile chalk-fed river, which supports rare species such as the Desmoulin’s whorl snail and water starwort. The river is home to water voles, otters and many fish species including bullhead, brook lamprey and brown trout. Protecting the Wensum from land-based pollutants is vital as well as ensuring that the ecological and hydrological health is improved and maintained. The Pensthorpe team work alongside local land owners, farmers and communities to conserve, restore and create new wetlands within the Wensum Valley.

At Pensthorpe we manage a range of wildlife rich wetland habitats across our own land. In the last few years we have created new wetland and reed bed habitats, helped create glides and berms in the river and restored four ponds across our farmland. As part of our education work we have also created a new wetland discovery area where visitors can discover more about wetlands including pond dipping from our purpose built pond dipping platform and bird watch from our education hide.

In 2019, the first Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair raised funds for Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Norfolk Wildlife Trust pledged to invest the donation, from the event, towards wetland restoration work in Norfolk. Pensthorpe Conservation Trust will once again be supporting Norfolk Wildlife Trust at the 2020 Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair. We believe we are a stronger team when we work together to help conserve these beautiful but threatened habitats.