The Fens

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The Fens, also known as the Fenland(s), are a naturally marshy region in eastern England. Most of the fens were drained several centuries ago, resulting in a flat, damp, low-lying agricultural region.

A fen is the local name for an individual area of marshland or former marshland and also designates the type of marsh typical of the area.

The Fenland primarily lies around the coast of the Wash; it reaches into two Government regions (East of England and the East Midlands), four ceremonial counties (Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and a small area of Suffolk); 11 District Councils and six postcode areas (LN, PE, CB, IP, NR, and NG). The whole contains an area of nearly 1,500 square miles (3,900 km2).[2]

Most of the Fenland lies within a few metres of sea-level. As with similar areas in the Netherlands, much of the Fenland originally consisted of fresh or saltwater wetlands which have been artificially drained and continue to be protected from floods by drainage banks and pumps. With the support of this drainage system, the Fenland has become a major arable agricultural region in Britain for grains and vegetables. The Fens are particularly fertile, containing around half of the grade 1 agricultural land in England.

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