Fen Drayton

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Fen Drayton
Fen Drayton Village Hall - geograph.org.uk - 903993.jpg
Fen Drayton Village Hall
Grid reference: TL335683
Location: 52°17’47"N, 0°2’17"W
Population: 827  (2001)
Post town: Cambridge
Postcode: CB24
Dialling code: 01954
Local Government
Council: South Cambridgeshire

Fen Drayton is a small village in Cambridgeshire, lying between Cambridge and St Ives, Huntingdonshire, with the village of Fenstanton (Huntingdonshire) immediately beside it to the west and Swavesey (Cambridgeshire) to the east.

Fen Drayton stands just off the major A14 trunk road, with lanes running down to the road bordered with commercial greenhouses. The village is also close to the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway and is on National Cycle Route 51.

Much of the working population commutes to work in one of the larger towns nearby, however, there are also a number of farms in the village, some still active.

The village has a primary school, village hall, tennis courts and football fields, where Drayton Lions Football Club play their home matches, and a pub (The Three Tuns). The church (Church of England) is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin.

According to the 2001 census, it is home to 827 people, living in some 329 dwellings.

Nature reserve

Just north of the village is the Fen Drayton Nature Reserve, a 267-acre nature reserve comprising four lakes formed from exhausted sand and gravel pits. These were worked since the 1950s, by ARC (now Hanson plc), and is now a habitat for some 190 bird species, along with other associated wildlife. In particular, gadwall, wigeon, pintail, goldeneye, smew, coot and bittern populations may be seen: it is estimated that 2% of the UK's bittern population, and 4% of the UK's cold weather smew population, reside here, making it an important site for birds. The RSPB bought much of the site in 2007.[1]

The reserve is accessible from the surrounding villages of Fen Drayton, Swavesey and Fenstanton.

It is open every day (and all day), with no charge, and two car parks, rights of way (footpaths, bridleways and a byway) and hides around the lakes. In times of heavy rain and river flooding, the entire reserve goes under water, including car parks and most rights of way.

The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway passes through the reserve using part of the old Cambridge and Huntingdon railway and the busway was opposed at the planning stage for disturbing this reserve.

Plans are afoot amongst bureaucrates that the reserve become part of a much larger wetland area along the River Great Ouse linking to the Hanson-RSPB Wetland Project at Needingworth Quarry that should become Britain's largest reedbed within the next 30 years, flooding thousands of acres of some of the best arable land in Britain.[2] This will then connect to reserves at Ouse Washes and Welney north of Earith. The Ouse Washes are managed by the RSPB[3] and Welney is run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.[4]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Fen Drayton)