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Alkaline fens

Valuable wetlands but difficult to manage

image of Alkaline fens

Alkaline fens are species rich wetlands that today are threatened. Nature conservation officers and experts of alkaline fens from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden visited alkaline fens in Sweden and Finland to discuss the current situation. Restoration and management can be expensive and there is a need to find more appropriate ways to manage and restore alkaline fens.

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How do we work with stakeholders/landowner?

In many parts of the Nordic countries, alkaline fens are privately owned. The landowners are responsible for management, such as grazing and haymaking, so a good working relationship with stakeholders is very important. When a project is started it is often advantageous to involve the stakeholder as early as possible in the process – getting to know each other is a long process and time is needed. Continuity is necessary, and conservation workers must have good listening skills and patience. Information must be shared and good examples are important. It is important to explain to the landowner that the fen is very valuable and that they should be proud of it. Establishing a good dialogue is vital when it comes to managing fens, and valuable information can be gleaned from learning about the site history. Stakeholders that we met through the project were very interested, and happy to share their knowledge.

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