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This drawing covers the fens of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire with the county borders indicated by a red dotted line. Characteristic fenland features such as dykes, canals and ancient cattle droves are clearly depicted on the plan. In the 17th century, the Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden was appointed by James I to direct the drainage of the wetlands. As a result of Vermuyden's work, the fens took on a very different appearance, changing from an area of flooded marshes to one of extensively farmed agricultural land.
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This drawing covers the Bedford Level and part of the East Anglian fens, with the town of Wisbech shown at top left. Drains across fens and marshland are highlighted in blue. These date from the 17th century, when James I appointed the Dutch engineer, Cornelius Vermuyden to direct drainage of the wetlands. Many local people opposed the scheme because the land involved was commonland on which they grazed cattle. As a result of Vermuyden's work, the fens became a very different landscape, transformed from one of flooded marshes to extensively farmed agricultural land.
Yeakell, Thomas Jr.