A CENTURY years ago, a banker turned a stretch of the Fens into a nature reserve and with it came the birth of The Wildlife Trust.

Charles Rothschild bought a piece of the Woodwalton Fen in 1910 and built a wooden thatched bungalow on stilts. Two years later he turned the land into a nature reserve and set up the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves, now part of the Wildlife Trust.

The trust will mark its 100th birthday with a Big Birthday Extravaganza on Sunday (May 20) at the Great Fen Project where chainsaw bench-maker Tim Atkins will be in action, eel-catcher Peter Carter will also be there and there will be beekeeping displays and a willow-weaving display.

Visitors will be able to meet Rothschild's granddaughter and landscape artist, Kari de Koenigswarter, at the Rothschild bungalow at 1.30pm.

A big birthday cake will be cut at the country classroom at Ramsey Heights, with a shuttle bus transporting visitors to and from Woodwalton Fen.

Jeff Harrison is holding a wildlife photography exhibition at the event with children's wildlife activities, woodland crafts, Fen songs and displays and a hog roast.

INFORMATION: The Big Birthday Extravaganza takes place between 11am and 4pm. To find out more about the Wildlife Trust visit www.wildlifebcn.org