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Title: Old Bedford incorporating the Middle Level and Ouse Washes : first annual review - May 1999
Author: Environment Agency Anglian Region
Document Type: Monograph
The Plan area is described in detail in the Old Bedford LEAP Consultation Report, which was published in May 1997, and in summary in the Action Plan published in April 1998. The following is therefore a brief description of key factors only, with particular reference to the year in view. Falling mainly within Cambridgeshire, the fastest growing county in the country, the LEAP area nonetheless contains some of the most important nature conservation areas and arable land in the UK. It comprises a combination o f the Ouse Washes and the Middle Level river systems (Map 1). The Ouse Washes (32 km from Earith to Denver) were created in the 17th Century to prevent flooding of the low-lying fenland of the Middle and South Levels. The system is described in Figure 1, and pumping stations and sluices are identified in Figure 2. Lying to the west of the Ouse Washes, the Middle Level is subdivided into 39 Internal Drainage Districts, most of which are administered by the Middle Level Commissioners (MLC). Almost 70% of the Middle Level is fenland and lies below mean sea level. The Ouse Washes are now an internationally recognised site for conservation o f migrant birdlife, and the Levels have some of the most productive soils in the UK for agriculture. This is the first Annual Review for the Old Bedford (incorporating Middle Level and Ouse Washes) LEAP. Its purpose is not only to report on progress with activities described in the Action Plan, but also to identify any new issues, additional actions that may have become necessary or those that may no longer be relevant.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Publication Date: 1999
Publication Place: Peterborough
Extent: 32; + appendices
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