Last modified: 2023-05-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: fenland | cambridgeshire |
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The Fens, also known as the Fenlands, in eastern England are a naturally
marshy region supporting a rich ecology and numerous species. Fen is the local
term for an individual area of marshland or former marshland. Most of the fens
were drained centuries ago, resulting in a flat, dry, low-lying agricultural
region. The land level has continued to sink and the dykes have been built
higher to protect it from flooding. The Fens are a National Character Area,
based on their landscape, biodiversity, geodiversity and economic activity.
Fenland is a local government district in Cambridgeshire. It was historically part of the Isle of Ely and borders the city of Peterborough to the northwest, Huntingdonshire to the west, and East Cambridgeshire to the southeast. It also borders the Lincolnshire district of South Holland to the north and the Norfolk district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk to the northeast. The administrative centre is in March.
There are 102,000 inhabitants on 546.45 km˛. The district was formed on 1
April 1974, with the merger of the Borough of Wisbech, Chatteris Urban District,
March Urban District, Whittlesey Urban District, North Witchford Rural District
and Wisbech Rural District.
James Bowman has conceived a Fenland Flag. The flag has a heraldic Fen tiger; yellow for agricultural prosperity; and blue for the natural and manmade waterways.
The term “Fen Tigers” was first used of the local inhabitants by Dutch engineers who arrived to assist with the drainage of the Fens, resulting in considerable land reclamation. The locals apparently exhibited some hostility to the incomers and were given the term “tigers” as a result. The concept was sufficiently recognised in the twentieth century for tigers to be included as supporters in the arms awarded to the Fenland District Council in the 1970s. (source: https://britishcountyflags.com/2016/11/21/fenland/)
The flag is unofficial but received the support of a local council at an April 29th, 2021 meeting of East Cambridgeshire District Council, which agreed a motion to recognise the Fenland flag and “support the ambition” of its registration, proposed by council leader Anna Bailey and seconded by councillor Julia Huffer.
Olivier Touzeau, 3 April 2023