A hotbed for research

From the pioneering studies conducted by the late Ted Ellis to modern day projects from the University of East Anglia and other local institutions, Wheatfen has always been a hotbed for environmental and ecological research.

Ongoing research projects taking place at the reserve:

Broadland Ecohydrological Observatory

Alice Milner (Royal Holloway University of London) and Andy Baird (University of Leeds)

A major challenge for Broadland is adapting to climate change where over the next 50 years the area is likely to experience hotter drier summers, wetter warmer winters, more intense and frequent rainfall storms, heatwaves and droughts, possibly coinciding with surge tide events, and sea level rise. There is evidence that Broadland peatland surfaces have kept pace with past sea level rise but it is unclear what will happen under future sea level rise, and how floodplain fens like Wheatfen will respond to flooding and tidal surges.

The Broadland Ecohydrological Observatory (BEO) is a new fen monitoring station at Wheatfen collecting long-term data on meteorological conditions and ecological and hydrological changes in semi-natural wet woodland. In autumn 2018, the observatory completed its first year of data collection.

Read the Broadland Ecohydrological Observatory Winter 2018 Update.

Investigating mammal population densities in relation to habitat using the Random Encounter Model

Sam Speak (University of East Anglia)

Chinese Water Deer

Chinese Water Deer

Using trail cameras, Sam Speak designed and undertook a research project focused around working in the Norfolk Broads to investigate the relative population sizes of mammals in the Broads. He based the project at two separate sites, Buremarsh at Woodbastwick and at Wheatfen Nature Reserve over the summer of 2018 from July until October.

Read the project article.

An archive of scientific papers and articles concerning Wheatfen:

Articles taken from the annual Friends of the Ted Ellis Trust newsletter: