The Wildlife Trust has won planning permission to create a new nature reserve stretching over hundreds of acres of former farmland near Holme.

The trust applied to Huntingdonshire District Council late last year with plans for an area of new wet grassland habitat at Engine Farm, in Holme Fen.

The site extends to more than 400 acres and will be restored to wetland habitat through "water level management".

It will go on to form part of the Great Fen project, a 50-year plan to restore thousands of acres of farmland to wetland habitat for wading birds and other wildlife.

In consultation with the district council, Holme Parish Council raised concerns over the raised water table and called on the district council to ensure measures were put in place to mitigate the risk to farmers in the parish.

Approving the plans, council official Dallas Owen said: "This proposal covers only a small part of the overall circa 3,700 hectare area of the Great Fen, amounting to approximately 180 hectares of arable land.

"The proposal to create a matrix of reedbed, open water, wet grassland and dry grassland is designed to integrate with the approved Kesters Docking and Rymes Reedbed projects to the west, and into the wider Great Fen.

"It is stated that the project would incorporate vistas and landscaping to provide an engaging viewing spectacle for visitors. It is considered that the change in land cover and topography would not amount to significant landscape harm.

"This is an integral part of the Great Fen project which supports traditional land management practices. The application site will be viewable from adjacent facilities and for the Great Fen as a whole there is considered to be additional economic benefit through the promotion of sustainable tourism in the area."

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is too much former farmland being given over to create wetland habitat? Send your thoughts to daniel.mansfield@archant.co.uk or write to Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TB