The south-west has its Moors; Norfolk has The Broads; Yorkshire has its Dales – iconic landscapes that evoke the wild beauty of England's green and pleasant land. Add to this esteemed list, the Fens of East Anglia.
The Northamptonshire 'Peasant Poet' John Clare envisioned his beloved landscape with '...the horizon stooping smiles/ O'er treeless fens of many miles'. But when this expanse of low-lying marshland and meres, once home to just a scattering of isolated flood-battered settlements, was drained in the 1700s this nutrient rich land saw an explosion in agriculture. Now known as 'England's breadbasket', the Fens are dotted with sweeping golden wheat-fields, dazzling rapeseed, and green fields of marrowfat peas, sugar beet and mustard (the latter supplying the neighbouring Norfolk condiment king Coleman's).
And while many farming might be at the more industrial end of the scale, the Kelso family's Fen End Farm has been wholly organic since April 2003. Besides an array of delicious GM-free crops, a resurrected apple orchard, and native Red Poll cattle grazed on herb-rich pastures, they've also got quite a nice little glamping site we think you might like to hear about...
Fen End Farm sits just nine miles from Cambridge on the edge of the Fens. Deep within the 117-acre farm's organic apple orchard lies a wholly self-contained campsite. For the canvas contingent there are just four, well-spaced tent pitches dotted around the orchard, while those looking for something a little more fuss-free can opt for either the brand new bell tent, a 16ft traditional tipi, or a 16ft canvas yurt (both sleeping up to 4 adults). There is also a beautifully authentic gypsy wagon stationed amongst the wind-fallen English Cox.
It goes without saying, this organic farm boasts an exemplary environmental ethos. This refreshingly undeveloped site features an eco-friendly shower and compost loo, while electricity comes courtesy of a renewable on-site wind turbine and solar panels. 'The Apple Hut' log cabin is the communal facilities area which houses an outdoor kitchen boasting a wood-burning stove, fridge, sink, hot water and cooking utensils – everything you'll need for rustling up some campfire cuisine.
The long grass, hedgerows and native broadleaf woodlands that border the ample, football-friendly-fields, are a haven for a menagerie of curious critters. Keep your eyes peeled for grey partridge, lapwings and hares, not to mention the odd buzzard circling overhead. When twilight descends, see who can spot the most barn owls and bats fluttering from the barn by the entrance... that's if you're not too captivated by some of the clearest night skies in all the land.
The campsite owner saysFen End Farm is a small organic farm just six miles north of Cambridge (UK) on the edge of the Fens. You can come and stay in our beautiful orchard campsite. We have four grass pitches as well as a yurt, bell tent, tipi and gypsy wagon. We cut the pitches and pathways but leave the rest of the orchard as a meadow, which provides a sense of privacy and seclusion. On the farm we have horses, cows and hens, lots of wildlife including roe deer, muntjac deer, badgers, hares, buzzards, barn owls and kestrels. We have 117 acres of land to explore including a woodland. We look forward to seeing you on the farm!
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