Celebrate the Fens Day 2020

It’s Celebrate the Fens day on Saturday, 20th June.  The event is the first of its kind, and is being organised by local group, Fascinating Fens.

The day originally included many events across the fens such as open days, tours, guided walks, craft events and exhibitions but unfortunately due to the outbreak of Covid-19 these have not been possible. But the event will still go ahead, with most of it being streamed virtually.

Mike Rouse, a local fen historian and Mayor, has been asked to open proceedings.  An action-packed programme will feature the Fen Speak poets who will be sharing their poems that have been inspired by the fens. There will be posts/blogs by fen explorers, photographers, local history people and a beautiful account from the Owl Whistler.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Langley will be explaining how he gets inspiration for his horror novels and other stories set in the fens.  Whilst local artist Kaitlin Ferguson in association with Market Place – Creative people and places, is creating a video series about how she responds to the Fenland landscape in her practice. The series will also include a chance for people to have a go at a few art activities at home in response to this special landscape.

The Fens Biosphere will be asking people to share what the fens means to them and the Wake Hereward Project are hoping to provide a session via zoom on local fen hero, Hereward the wake. 

Other activities include virtual tours by the likes of Wisbech Corn Exchange, Crowland Abbey and Ondaintree Farm. Wisbech Museum are providing craft activity videos inspired from their Butterfly collection partly in association with Cambridge University.

The Stretham Old Engine are showing how to make your own model beam engine and sharing photos and comics. The Farmland and Denny Abbey are doing a guess the object quiz and showing how to use herbs to make a pomander. 

There’s even music with The Phezant’s Tail and the Penland Phezants playing a selection of their fen songs including “King John” and “Wicked Fen”.

The Sutton group “Isle ‘ave a Shanty” will be launching their new song “The Fishermen of Ely” to mark ‘Celebrate the Fens day’. 

Fascinating Fens has produced a free downloadable “colour me in” adult colouring page will be available on the Fascinating Fens website on the day, along with other activities.

Karen Merrison who created Fascinating Fens said “The Fens have some amazing scenery and landscapes together with some unique heritage and nature, and is the ideal place to unwind, inspire and be creative.  So I thought a celebration of the area was the natural thing to do. 

With the Covid-19 outbreak, we’ve had to scale back the original programme, but I’m delighted that so many groups and organisations are playing their part in the day by hosting a virtual event.  I am also really pleased that some local schools such as Rackham Primary in Witchford are getting involved with various projects on the fens next week. 

It would also be great if people took the opportunity to send us any photos on the day which they may have of the Fens, and we will happily upload them onto our website and social media pages. We’ll be using the hashtag #CelebrateTheFens”.

Further details including a programme of events together with social media and website links of those taking part can be found at: https://fascinatingfens.com/celebrate-the-fens-day/

Press release from Fascinating Fens

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