The Fens to the North & West of Ely

This area is sliced through by the great drainage works of the 1600s – the Old and New Bedford Rivers, and the River Delph. The whole system runs between raised banks carrying water from the Great Ouse at Earith to the Denver Sluice in the North and from there to the Wash at Kings Lynn.

Above Ely, between the New Bedford River and the old River Great Ouse, wide, open factory-fens stretch out around Hillgay, Southery and Littleport, while smaller holdings cluster among the parallel droves that segment Fodder Fen above Little Downham.

This patchwork of fenlands with ancient local names is broken up by outcrops of gault clay to the west, rising above the surrounding lowlands to support the villages of Little Downham, Coveney, Wardy Hill, Witchford, and Sutton. To the South lie Haddenham, Wilburton,Streatham and the River Great Ouse, while between the Great Ouse, the River Cam and Cambridge itself we find a collection of villages on higher ground surrounded by isolated patches of fenland.