The Fens (English: The Fens = the swamps ) are a moorland landscape in eastern England, which propagates to the bay The Wash and the floodplain of the rivers Witham, Welland, Nene and Ouse was.
After drying under the leadership of the Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden in the 17th century changed the course of the River Ouse, and the land fell away, so that it came to flooding. Trying to pump out the water with wind pumps, had little success. Only after 1820 the steam-driven pump was invented, the flooding has been contained. The conversion to pasture and arable land was only completed in the mid-19th century. Today, the area suffers from severe erosion.
At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries froze the flooded areas in the winter often, and so developed here that the Hockey Bandy similar. Already from 1790 are mentioned Bandyspiele of Bury Fen Bandy Club. Furthermore, there were early speed skating competitions of the then popular Fen skaters, where prices were to win (see also history of speed skating ).
An impression of the Fens before draining are the Wicken Fen nature reserve. In the Botanical Garden of the University of Cambridge, the vegetation of the Fens, including the UK almost extinct marsh ragwort, and the Kümmelblättrige Silge and the non- burning nettle Urtica dioica is replanted, subsp. subinermis.