The Fen Edge Trail

The Fen Edge Trail is our exciting project linking the geology and landscapes of the Fen Edge to the local history, culture and wildlife.

The Cambridgeshire Geological Society (CGS) created the Fen Edge Trail as part of its Geosites initiative, which aims to ensure that local sites of landscape and geological value are identified and protected, and that their importance and interest is shared with local people and visitors to the county. We are working with local community groups to design a route that highlights the landscape history, geology and soils, and their links with human history and wildlife.

The Fen Edge Trail will provide a walking route around the Cambridgeshire Fens, roughly following the land that lies 5 metres above sea level (the 5 metre contour), where the low-lying fenland meets the surrounding higher land. With short detours to visit viewpoints, historical sites and areas good for wildlife, the Trail will enable you to enjoy this fascinating area that has been of strategic importance for the local inhabitants of the region since their first arrival .As the land rises from the low lying fens to the surrounding ‘hills’, the character of the buildings, land use and natural history changes. The influence of the chalk uplands to the south east, the claylands to the west, the breckland to the east and the limestone uplands to the north west, have all had their effect.

Exploring the landscapes of the Fens, you will discover the rocks that lie underneath and those that form the surrounding ‘highlands’, as well as finding out about the life that existed when they were formed – from giant Jurassic marine reptiles and huge Cretaceous ammonites to Ice Age mammoths and, more recently, elks and aurochs. The fenland is an area where man has drastically changed the landscape, particularly through major drainage works, and the story of these changes, together with a rich and fascinating history, can be discovered by visiting the fen edge – from magnificent cathedrals, remote churches and ancient ports to lost lakes, historic waterways and some of the best wildlife habitats in the country.

Our partners

Our main partner in developing the Trail is The Fenland Trust, in Yaxley, and other key partners are The Great Fen/The Wildlife Trust (Beds, Cambs and Northants) and GeoPeterborough. Other organisations contributing to the project include Warboys Archaeology Group, Chatteris Museum, Farcet Parish Council, Huntingdonshire Ramblers, Burwell Museum and the Great Fen Heritage Group. If you would like to get involved in the project, please contact us.

© Cambridgeshire Geological Society