THE latest high-profile name to lend support to the Great Fen Project has more reasons to do so than most. Beth Rothschild has followed in the footsteps of her famous family by becoming the latest patron of the scheme. A keen horticulturist with interests in conservation and environmental issues, her family has been intricately linked with the conservation movement - particularly Huntingdonshire, where the Great Fen Project is based. In 1910 the Hon Charles Rothschild, Beth's great-grandfather, purchased Woodwalton Fen - one of the keystones of the project - as his own private nature reserve, to protect it from collectors and safeguard the species and the habitats that thrived therein. His foresight in buying Woodwalton marked a considerable phase in conservation history. As well as carrying out substantial scientific research, he established the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves in 1912 - this is now known as the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. The family connection with the Great Fen Project area continued with Charles' daughter, Miriam (Beth's great-aunt), a scientist, carrying out research on Woodwalton Fen. Now, almost a century after Charles' original purchase, Beth has become patron of the Great Fen Project.