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Fens, the

Fens, the, district, E England, a flat lowland, W and S of The Wash. Extending c.70 mi (110 km) from north to south and c.35 mi (60 km) from east to west, it is traversed by numerous streams. The area was originally the largest swampland in England, formed by the silting up of a bay of the North Sea. The higher places were sites of Roman stations. The Romans attempted drainage and built a few roads across the Fens; however, the area had become marshy by Anglo-Saxon times, either from natural causes or from allowing Roman work to decay. The first effective drainage systems were developed in the 17th cent. by Cornelius Vermuyden, a Dutch engineer. Drainage and construction of dikes and channels in the various sections or “levels” continued through the 19th cent., but problems of land sinkage, water accumulation, and periodic flooding existed throughout the period. As a result of flooding in the 20th cent., a drainage-improvement project (completed in the mid-1960s) was undertaken. The district is largely under intensive cultivation. Agriculture is plentiful on the fertile alluvial soils, with vegetables, fruit, and wheat being the principal crops. Wildlife sanctuaries have been preserved. The district is also called Fenland.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Plantlife's Colin Cheesman, who led the work in South Wales, said: "This result is not just good news for Kenfig, but for other dune sites like Whiteford and Pembrey where we can now introduce similar management in the hopes of bringing back fen orchids."
In East Anglia, work has gone into restoring the fragile fen habitat, where the orchid - rather than being rooted in the ground - grows perched in clumps of moss that grow on peat or sedge tussocks.
Our findings are consistent with those of Swinehart and Parker (2000) in northeastern Indiana where they noted fens lacking inflows and outflows eventually became bogs (i.e., precipitation-dominated systems), while two of their three extant fen sites had surface outflows.
London, Jan 13 (ANI): Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have found a large variety of tiny aquatic organisms in the East Stoke Fen nature reserve.
As a wetland complex containing fens in east-central Indiana, the Bennett wetland complex does not possess the same quality as the IMI wetland complex (Ruch et al.
Kelly creates an atmospheric Fens, complete with mists and Druid activities, and Dryden faces personal dilemmas as he becomes embroiled in the case.
Rather than innovations wiping out traditional dialect forms, they engage in contact with them in local communities: the outcomes of diffusion in the Fens bear all the hallmarks of contact-induced koineization, such as interdialect formation, levelling, and reallocation (Trudgill 1986).
Society chief executive Graham Wynne said: "We have made a start, lost fens have been recreated, with benefits for rare nesting birds such as bitterns."
In autumn 1839 George Dunn found himself traveling across the rain-swept open fen land of Cambridgeshire.
For a tundra fen and an open subarctic forest, calculations of organic soil accumulation or loss over the last half-century indicate that while the fen on average has lost small amounts of carbon from the ecosystem, the adjacent forest has gained larger amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide.