Draughtsman: Budgen, Charles
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Dikes and canals constructed to drain the fens are the prominent feature of this plan of the West Fen in Lincolnshire. These date from the 17th century, when James I appointed Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden to direct the drainage of the wetlands. Many local people opposed the scheme as the plan involved commonland on which they grazed cattle. As a result of Vermuyden's work, the fens changed radically in appearance, from an area of flooded marshes to one of extensively farmed agricultural land.