An area of countryside is home to a huge variety of rare wildlife, a study has shown.
The University of East Anglia revealed on Tuesday that the Fens, including Baston and Thurlby Fens, are home to 25 per cent of Britain’s rarest wildlife, including otters and black-tailed godwits.
Research found evidence of 13,474 species across a 1,470 square mile area spanning Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
The study also recommends ways to conserve wildlife.
Chris Panter, from the university’s school of environmental sciences, said: “We were really astonished by the incredible biodiversity and rare wildlife supported at just a few key sites within the large agricultural landscape.
“Our study provides vital evidence to support current restoration to help secure this important biodiversity for the future.
“Conservation management must be based on sound evidence. And this study gives an understanding of the ecological requirements of hundreds of rare species so that conservation can be cost effective.”
Mark Tarttelin, from the South Lincolnshire Fens Project, added: “This work details for the first time the surprising diversity of the wildlife remaining in the Fens and its rare and perilous state.
“We have to act now if we are to protect this for future generations.”