The area covered by our activities is shown on the right. It includes the old counties of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough. Soils are typically peaty fen, alluvial silt or boulder clay and are usually alkaline. There are small pockets of acid soil here and there, and there is some limestone and greensand in the north-west corner, which is mycologically and botanically very rich. There are a few carefully-managed relicts of the original fenland, notably Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen, although the Great Fen Project will eventually create much more. The climate is often very dry, with annual rainfall of only 50 to 60cm. The majority of the woodland is a mixture of oak, ash and field maple, with an understorey of hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel. Silver birch is present in many woods, indeed Holme Fen has the largest lowland birch wood in Britain. Willow, poplar and alder occur in the wetter areas. Disease-resistant small-leaved elm clones form the dominant species in a few woods, creating what is now a very rare habitat. Conifers and beech occur in scattered plantations, and group members have successfully lobbied to preserve some of these from clear-felling.
Nature Reserves and Public Open Spaces
There are many nature reserves and public open spaces in the area. Most do not require a permit. The excellent web sites below give full details.