Lego fans build giant Cambridgeshire Great Fen wetland model

Lego dragonfly
Image caption A number of Lego creatures including this dragonfly have already been created for the map

A Lego-mad couple renowned for creating giant Christmas decorations are using their love of the plastic bricks to raise funds for a wildlife project.

Mike Addis and Catherine Weightman will use 500,000 bricks to create a 10m (32ft) 3D "map" of Cambridgeshire wetland the Great Fen, complete with Lego "native species".

The land is part of a long-term Wildlife Trust conservation project.

More than 100 people have paid to help build Lego creatures to go on the map.

The Great Fen is a 50-year project to create a huge wetland between Peterborough and Huntingdon.

Image caption The creatures, like this Lego longhorn beetle and froghopper, are about 10cm in length

Managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, it is one of the largest restoration projects of its type in Europe.

Working with organisations including Natural England and the Environment Agency, they aim to transform the land and conserve its wildlife.

Image copyright Great Fen
Image caption In the future, the Great Fen will include a fully-equipped visitor centre
Image caption It will, of course, include toilet facilities which have already been created in Lego

Eventually the Great Fen should cover 3,700 hectares (9,140 acres). About 55% of that land has been acquired so far.

The idea for a fundraising and awareness-raising giant Lego model came about as Ms Weightman works for Natural England and colleagues were aware of her love of Lego creations.

The 10m (32ft) x 5m (16.5ft) map base will be created on about 14 tables in the visitor centre at Hinchingbrooke Country Park from Sunday.

Image caption Catherine Weightman with a few of the many boxes of Lego which will be used to make the map
Image caption A Lego cardinal beetle is one of many which will be put on the map

Ms Weightman and Mr Addis have already made a few creatures such as dragonflies and spiders to populate the map, as well as buildings including a proposed visitor centre for Great Fen, complete with Lego public toilets.

A number of sold-out sessions later in the week will see members of the public build their own creatures which will be added to the base.

Jo Dixon, from the Wildlife Trust, said: "We aren't too particular, and if the odd dinosaur or alien turns up, we'll add it to the map anyway."

Image copyright Great Fen
Image caption A map showing the eventual extent of the Great fen - land in green has already been acquired

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