Sarah Smith talks about making space for nature on Cambridge’s doorstep. Wicken Fen is Britain’s oldest nature reserve, and the Wicken Vision is dramatically expanding this nationally important site for biodiversity while at the same time creating an extraordinary resource for its visitors.

Sarah Smith

Born and raised in the Cambridgeshire Fens as a farmer’s daughter, Sarah grew up with a love of the Fen landscape and the outdoors. As a Zoology graduate from Nottingham University, she discovered a passion for connecting people with nature whilst volunteering for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Welney. For the last 15 years she has been working in nature conservation in and around Cambridgeshire for both WWT and the Wildlife Trust; all the time fostering and developing her passion for wetlands and fen and engaging local communities. In 2017 Sarah arrived at Wicken Fen as the General Manager with a remit to lead the National Trust’s ambitious 100 year plan to extend the nature reserve at Wicken Fen all the way to Cambridge: the Wicken Fen Vision. Managing one of the last remaining fragments of original fenland coupled with forward-looking plans such as the Vision is an exciting challenge that she is thrilled to share with over 70,000 visitors each year.

Her reason for optimism: “The Wicken Fen Vision has seen the return of otters, water voles, cranes and marsh harriers to the nature reserve over the last 20 years; we know that wildlife can return with the right changes. I see many organisations working closer than ever before on a landscape-scale to join up these fragments of biodiversity and create a wilder future for Cambridgeshire. All of this gives me great hope for the future of the landscape I call home.”

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