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The Lost Fens: England’s Greatest Ecological Disaster

by Ian D Rotherham RRP £17.99

The Fens bred revolution and civil war and paid the penalty (Henry VIII once replied to a complaint by the commoners of Lincolnshire in his ‘Answer to the Petition of the Rebels and Traitors of Lincolnshire’). They nurtured religious non-conformism with global impact.

After 1066, the Saxons withheld the Normans’ onslaught, and in the 1970s, Bunting’s Beavers took action against 20th-century invaders.

The fenscapes, neither water nor land but something in-between, breed independence and, if necessary, dissention.

The Lost Fens is the story of politically and economically driven ecological catastrophe and loss.

For many, the Fenlands are the vast expansive flatlands of intensive farming, the ‘breadbaskets’ of Britain.

But Ian Rotherham looks at the loss of the vast flocks of wetland birds which filled the evening skies in winter and the abundant black terns or breeding wading birds of the summer months and argues that with global environmental change, and especially climate change, the fenlands once again have a major role to play in our sustainable future.