British Wildlife 11.6 August 2000

Habitat management news

The Fen Raft Spider Dolomedes plantarius occurs at only two sites in the UK, and at one of these, Redgrave and Lopham Fen National Nature Reserve on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, it has been the subject of well-publicised conservation action. Helen Smith has analysed the information on spider distribution and numbers at the site in relation to this conservation action (Biol. Conserv. 95: 153-164). The site was affected by water absraction from a borehole, exacerbated by droughts, which led to its drying out. Major changes in vegetation occured, particularly scrub encroachment and a decline in the fen, which is dominated by Great Fen-sedge Cladium mariscus.

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