Water, Water Everywhere - The Changing Fens

Ref: C2224574

Starting with an overview of early drainage attempts, this course focusses on the impact on local community of the major work drainage works carried out in the 17th Century and the role of the Bedford Corporation in keeping the Fens drained. We shall discover how the local communities reacted to the changing landscape and how it affected their livelihoods. There will be floods, riots and epidemics to contend with as well as celebrations, new inventions and new opportunities. We shall meet some of the well-known characters as well as the lesser-known, ordinary folk and hear their stories. It may be possible to include a visit as part of the course or as an optional extra.

Course aim

To investigate the effect of the draining the Fens on local communities between 1600 and 2000, looking at landscape, occupations, technology, social conditions and to consider the future options.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the key drainage works and the characters involved in the Fens of the 17th century.
  • Provide four examples of how the drainage works between 1600 and 1800 affected local communities.
  • Explain how new technology in the 19th century affected the development of Fenland.
  • Discuss, in small groups, possible options for future development within Fenland.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • Visit some of the key sites featured during the course.

Download full Course information sheet

Water, Water Everywhere - The Changing Fens


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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