Historically, as well as small pockets of reedbed in many of the UK’s estuaries, a much larger network of reedbeds and fens existed over much of the land that now forms the arable heart of East Anglia. Improvements in agriculture saw large tracts of this land drained and as much as 40-50% of the area’s reedbeds may have been lost in this way. Not only did this mean less raw material was available for the thatching indistry, but many species of wildlife which are dependent on reedbeds, such as Bittern and Bearded Tit, were put under enourmous pressure as their homes disappeared around them.