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Fen Drayton Village Hall
Fen Drayton shown within Cambridgeshire
|Population||827 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Much of the working population commutes to work in one of the larger towns or cities 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 (a 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. The population was nearly entirely white (99.3%), with 0.4% Asian/Asian British, and 0.4% of mixed ethnicity. 71.5% of the population were Christian, compared to 1.1% listed under 'other religion' (27.4% claimed 'no religion' or did not state a religion).
Just north of the village is the Fen Drayton Nature Reserve, a 108-hectare (267-acre) 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. The RSPB purchased much of the site in 2007.
The reserve is accessible from the surrounding villages of Fen Drayton, Swavesey and Fenstanton. It is not accessible from nearby Holywell as Holywell is other side of the River Great Ouse and there is no bridge.
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. The route for the guided busway was cleared of vegetation over the winter 2007–2008.
It is planned that the reserve will 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. This will then connect to reserves at Ouse Washes and Welney north of Earith. The Ouse Washes are managed by the RSPB and Welney is run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
Fen Drayton was traditionally an agricultural village, like many in Cambridgeshire, surrounded by fenland. The land is very flat and so it regularly floods.
People from Fen Drayton
George Butler whose family originated in Huntingdon was resident in 1575 at Fen Drayton and had six sons. One of his sons Stephen Butler settled in Belturbet County of Cavan in Kingdom of Ireland and his son Theophilus Butler, was created Baron of Newtownbutler in 1715 his brother Brinsley Butler who succeeded through special remainder was created Viscount Lanesborough in 1728. Viscount Lanesborough's son Humphrey was created Earl of Lanesborough in 1756. The Earldom of Lanesborough became extinct in 1998 on death of Denis Anthony Brian Butler, 9th Earl of Lanesborough
- RSPB: Fen Drayton Lakes nature reserve
- "Cambridgeshire Guided Busway: Inspectors Report". Department for Transport. Retrieved 2009-06-25.[dead link]
- "Fen Drayton Lakes - Future plans". RSPB. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- "Ouse Washes". RSPB. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- "Welney". Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- "Seal seen at Drayton Lakes Reserve - 50 miles from sea" at bbc.co.uk
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