Fenland Nature - Pelagic Publishing

Fenland Nature

  • Beautiful and striking photographs illustrate the natural history and landscape of the Fens.
  • Insightful and engaging narrative covers Fenland ecology and history, including the search for flagship and specialist species.
  • A concise, accessible, and diversely sourced natural history of the region.
  • A summary of viewpoints that recognises the current crisis in the future of the Fens.

    • Coming Soon
    • ecology
    • fenland
    • habitat
    • natural history
    • wetland


    This book showcases the natural history and landscape of the Fens, an area now responsible for a third of Britain’s food production and worth over £3 billion to the economy every year. It describes the geology and geography across the Fenland Basin over the last 14,000 years, a period dominated by the flux of wetlands and movement of water. The human relationship with this landscape is traced through history: from Mesolithic hunters to the prosperity of a medieval economy based on the currency of eels, through the taming and draining of the vast wetlands, to modern farming on an industrial scale.

    While recognising that only a fraction of the Fens is left, Fenland Nature celebrates the breadth of wildlife still to be found in the region, from vast flocks of visiting wildfowl in the winter months, to rare and specialised plants and insects – all illustrated with detailed and evocative photographs.

    The book concludes by contemplating an uncertain future where there are possibilities for a sustainable agricultural industry alongside increasing biodiversity, requiring new ways of thinking and working with the land. The fenland landscape is a microcosm of the huge global challenges caused by habitat loss, ecological degradation and climate change. If solutions can be found to these complex issues in the Fens, then there is hope that these can also apply to similar places across the world.

    DOI: 10.53061/ATHO3453

    About the Author

    Duncan Poyser grew up in the Vale of York, before moving to the Fens a quarter of a century ago. An obsessive interest in birds from early childhood led to an ecology-based degree, and a teaching qualification followed. After a year working in New Zealand schools, he wandered globally for several more. Returning to the UK, he worked as an ecological consultant in the Scottish Highlands and Outer Hebrides before settling back in the Fens. Fenland Nature is Duncan’s first book.

    Simon Stirrup lives on the edge of the Fens with his wife and son. He has a degree in Zoology and is a retired computer consultant. He has been a keen birdwatcher and wildlife enthusiast all his life. He is widely travelled but in recent years has focused on the UK, particularly the Cambridgeshire Fens. Simon’s photography has been used by numerous publications and organisations, including British Birds, National Geographic, the National Trust and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 336 pages
    • Colour illustrations
    • BISAC SCI083000, SCI070030, SCI030000, NAT018000, NAT037000