Of Lincolnshire's original 100,000 hectares of wild wet fenland, only 55 hectares now remain - a loss of over 99.99%. This loss is responsible for the decline and extinction of much of the flora and fauna dependent upon these diverse wetland habitats.
The remaining fenland is concentrated in the Baston and Thurlby Fen Nature Reserves and Counter Drain Special Area of Conservation which are distinguished for their botanically rich and nationally important wetland plant communities.
These nature reserves are noted for their rare pondweeds including, Potamogeton coloratus, compressus and frogbit, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae and other regionally scarce species such as bladderwort Utricularia vulgaris, flowering rush Butomus umbellatus, and greater water-parsnip Sium latifolium.Case Study: Greater Water-parsnip
Birds are also well recorded with over 170 species noted and 63 species recorded as breeding or presumed breeding including lapwing, redshank, snipe and marsh harrier. In winter large numbers of wildfowl are attracted to the flooded Washland areas including wigeon, teal, mallard, shoveler, tufted duck and pintail.
Recorded molluscs total 73 species (the most diverse area in Lincolnshire) and have included the Red Data Book 2 species Valvata macrostama. Insect records include many rare species, including the Coleoptera (beetles) Dytiscus dimidatus, Agabus undulates, Hydaticus transversalis, Dryops similaris, the moth Ethmia funerella and 18 species of dragonfly (15 known to have bred) including hairy dragonfly Brachytron pratense, variable damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum and ruddy darter Sympetrum sanguineum.
Fenland Diving Beetle (Dytiscus dimidatus)
This large 'diving beetle' is now part of a relic population of rare and threatened fenland species. In 2005, Dytiscus dimidatus was known only at three sites within the U.K: Baston and Thurlby Fens in Lincolnshire, The Great Fen in Cambridgeshire, and the Somerset Levels.Case Study: Fenland Diving Beetle