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The UK Dolomedes plantarius conservation programme is a partnership of organisations. In England this partnership is led by Natural England working with key partners, the Suffolk and Sussex Wildlife Trusts, which manage nature reserves supporting most of England's D.plantarius populations. In 2012 the RSPB join the partnership as hosts to a new, translocated population. Private landowners are increasingly part of this active partnership; both those on the Pevensey Levels, whose ditches already harbour D. plantarius, and those whose who are becoming custodians of newly translocated populations. The Universities of East Anglia and Nottingham are both partners in the research that underpins the conservation work. The John Innes Centre Insectary was involved in developing methodologies for captive rearing of D. plantarius and ten UK Zoos and collections - all members of the BIAZA - made a huge contribution in expertise, time and resources to captive rearing of spiderlings in 2011-13. Beale Park, Bristol Zoo, Chessinton World of Adventure, Chester Zoo, The Deep, Dudley Zoo, Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, London Zoo, Reasheath College and Tilgate Nature Centre, were all part of the foster partent team which was co-ordinated and masterminded by Ian Hughes of Dudley Zoo.
Funding for the research and conservation work between 1991 and 2014 came from Natural England. The Suffolk Wildlife Trust has funded many elements of the management work for the spiders on Redgrave and Lopham Fen. Funding for new pond creation in 2009 and 2010 came from the SWT's Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.
The funding that made it possible to embark on the translocation phase of the conservation programme in East Anglia came as grants from the former BBC Wildlife Fund to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust as well as from Natural England and the Broads Authority. In 2015 the Love the Broads partnership announced a four-year grant twoards the project. The RSPB also contributed to the project in 2015.
Sheila Tilmouth, Artist in Residence in 2009-10 and support for her exhibition and book in 2014-15, was funded by Arts Council England. Her work continues to help many people to see spiders though new eyes.
Many people have contributed their time to the programme as volunteers. The expert volunteers of the British Arachnological Society have played a major part in the survey work that paved the way for the translocation programme. Other volunteers have dug ponds, cut sedge, felled trees, fed spiderlings, counted spiders, washed-up test tubes, taught children and measured water levels. All of them have helped to ensure a future for fen raft spiders in the UK.
This website owes its existence to Stephen Baillie who deisgned and built it. Permission to use many of the photographs on it has been generously given by the photographers. Click here for links to their websites. The unattributed images were all taken by Helen Smith.