The Fens are located in East of England, mostly in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. This land is so fertile, that a huge portion of the organic food grown for veg boxes is grown here. So what are Fens? They are simply a type of wetland, fed by groundwater and surface water, with high dissolved mineral levels, and usually have boggy areas that have been damaged by land drainage and cutting down peat.
On the Marsh is a book by Simon Barnes (who used to be a peaceful-troublemaking writer for newspapers). On hearing a Cetti’s warbler sing in Norfolk as he looked at a house for sale, he immediately decided it would be his home, especially as the garden backed onto marshy land that he feared may end up in the wrong hands and be lost to developers or intensive farming. So he and his wife rewilded the area, which also had beneficial effects for their son who has Down Syndrome. A place of calm and inspiration. Follow triumphs (two marsh harrier families arrive to use the marsh as hunting ground) and disappointments (chemical run-off from neighbouring farmland creates a nettle monoculture in newly-turned earth).
about the author
Simon Barnes is author of The Year of Sitting Dangerously (which details the safari in his back garden, when an African trip was cancelled during the pandemic). A former sports writer for The Times, he is council member of World Land Trust (which buys land so it can’t be developed) and patron of Save the Rhino.