the Fens


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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 ?
FRAGILE FLOWER: A small plant with pale yellow blooms, the fen orchid is found in only two regions of the UK
It's a joyous experience watching your Glaswegian pal explaining to a non-plussed Cambridgeshire reporter why you'd travel eight hours south to fish a ditch on the side of the road, and why the Fens is so important to anglers.
However, due to the fens and sedge meadows at IMI, grasses and sedges composed a higher percentage of the species, about 20%, when compared to the other sites.
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).
The posters, produced with help from the Fens Residents Association, are to be put up at various locations on the estate as part of the Spring Clean Hartlepool initiative.
It's still possible to see what the Fens were like in the middle ages, as a few areas escaped the drainage.
The fens are currently dominated by one or more of the brown mosses Cattiergonetta cuspidata, Ambtystegium riparium, Campytium steltatum, C.
Li and Vitt (1997) found that N additions increased production of the mosses Sphagnum fuscum in a bog and Tomenthypnum nitens in a rich fen, but not of the shrubs Ledum groenlandicum in the fen nor Betula pumila in the fen.
The fens contain no permafrost but are bordered by low scrub and forests of black spruce and paper birch with permafrost.
Knowledge of regional geology was critical to understanding potential impacts to the fens - if the fens were supported by regional flow systems then they would be less likely to be impacted from the proposed expansion; but, if they were supported by local flow systems, they would be more sensitive to changes in infiltration.
Immediately they log into the computer network, the FENS screen appears, showing the number of items added in the last three days.
The Friends Of the Fens Group, based in Dudley - which is chaired by Pensnett man Mark Giles - took part in a litter pick of the coppice off High Street, Pensnett.