Sustainable Fenland

The early morning sun picks up a ruler-straight line of light across the graphic landscape of the Fens.  A solar array.  The Fens, drained over the centuries in what Ian Rotham claims is the ‘greatest single ecological catastrophe that ever occurred in England’ (The Lost Fens (2013)), include some of the best agricultural land in the country.  Is covering it with solar arrays, rather than growing vegetables, wheat, potatoes, sugar beet and so on, perverse?  Keeping the waters at bay in this low lying land is an ongoing struggle, a struggle that climate change is set to make ever more challenging.  Harvesting sustainable energy is not perverse, more a survival strategy.  The silver line, at first glance water, is a hint of an alternative future.  Perhaps Ian Rotham wouldn’t mind.

Photo: Solar array, Chittering Farm, Streatham, Cambs, August 2017

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