Case Study - The Fens, East Anglia

The Fens in East Anglia is the UK's most important area for commercial arable farming. The low-lying land has fertile soils and a warm climate, ideal for growing crops like wheat, barley, sugar-beet and peas, which are produced on a large scale for profit.

In the video below, presenters visit a dairy farm to discuss the diversification of farms.

Introduction

Many farmers in The Fens have agribusinesses which means they operate on a large scale. However, farming is a tough industry and many smaller farmers struggle to make a living.

To help increase their income, many farmers have turned to non-farming activities. This is known as diversification. Farmers put their land to a variety of uses including.

Tourism

  • Renting out cottages as holiday homes.
  • Offering bed and breakfast facilities.
  • Providing camping and caravan sites.

Enterprise

Recreation and leisure

Diversification has led to an increase in tourism in rural areas. This can be positive as increased income is taxed and money is invested in rural areas to improve local services and natural habitats. However, tourism has had a huge negative impact on the rural landscape.

Examples