Fenscape: The Fens Discovery Centre
Discover the fens through interactive and audio visual displays, interpretive sculptures, theatrical sets, graphic panels and more.
Each display brings to life a particular aspect of the Fens unique past and involves the audience in issues and choices faced by the people that were involved in shaping the fens that we see today.
Learn about the landscape today and how future changes will affect it. Read about the drainage story and then take part in an interactive debate over the drainage of the fens in a specially designed courtroom. Or perhaps take a visit to the fenland apothecary and find out about some of the weird and wonderful cures that fenfolk used to treat illnesses like malaria... could you match the cure to the illness?
Visit us and find out much more about the Fens - past, present and future. Find out about other local attractions to explore within the fens or purchase locally produced goods in the Fenscape Shop.
Museum, Environmental or ecological centre
Mon - Sat 10am-5pm
Sun - 10am - 4pm
Closed: Christmas Day
[Charges may apply to school parties and evening bookings, please call or email for more details]
Schools parties are welcomed at Fenscape and prices vary depending on the programmes chosen; facilities include toilets, eating areas and use of the David Bellamy Community Room.
The community room has access for children and adults with disabilities and mobility issues.
For school parties the Fenscape Manager will be on hand for information, advice and help with delivering programmes of study.
The attraction will in the near future be offering a comprehensive education programme which will include the following:
• Teacher’s packs for the attraction.
• Educational workshops in the David Bellamy Community Room and gardens.
• State of the art technology for presentations and Internet access.
• A Virtual Seed CD-ROM with accompanying teachers notes.
Visits by school parties will need to be pre-arranged.
The Fens Discovery Centre focuses strongly on the social history and geography of the Fens from Roman Times to the present day and the impact that drainage and the subsequent farming has had on both the landscape and its people.
The exhibitions are permanent and make use of state of the art technology to interpret the different aspects of the Fens. There is a small collection of traditional Fenland tools and memorabilia.
Agriculture, Inland Waterways, Natural Sciences, Science and Technology, Social History
Key artists and exhibits
- Cornelius Vermuyden
This programme of study is aimed at KS1 and KS2 and looks and wildlife habitats in the Fens. Emphasis is put on wildflowers and the habitats that they thrive in such as the wetlands, meadow fields and newly built up areas. Children are encouraged to learn about the four main habitats in the Fens and then explore the different habitats that can be found in the Springfields gardens where the discovery centre is situated. Worksheets and guided tours accompany the programme and a workshop in the education room at the centre is included which makes use of the Virtual Seed CD-Rom.
Geography - The Fenland Landscape
This programme of study can be adapted for KS1 and KS2 and looks in more detail at the geographical makeup of the Fens. Worksheets are used to encourage children to investigate the differences between Fen and Marsh, the different soil types and how agricultural use has affected the landscape. Workshops in the education room are available with soil testing and other experiments. The activities can be tailor made to last for either a morning session or a full day. The maximum number of children is 60, split into two groups which will alternate between the attraction and education room.
Helping Plants Grow Well
A schools programme based around helping plants to grow well and thrive in Fenland conditions. The programme includes a worksheet looking at plants that grow in the Fens followed by a tour of the sites gardens with an appropriate worksheet. The programme also includes a workshop in the educational facility with hands on experiments and the use of the Virtual Seed CD-Rom, a plant encyclopaedia and range of associated experiments. A copy of the CD can be taken back to the school. The activities can be tailor made to last for either a morning session or a full day.
Local History - Drainage
This programme of study can be adapted for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and looks at the history of Drainage in the Fens. For KS1 and KS2 worksheets and a question and answer type workshop with associated experiments. For KS3 a courtroom debate is available which investigates the reasons behind the decision to drain and children can make their own choices and decisions on whether the Fens should have been drained in the first place. The activities can be tailor made to last for either a morning session or a full day
The Virtual Seed
The Virtual Seed CD-Rom is a computer programme aimed at KS1 and KS2 looking at how plants grow. A virtual seed is grown from a seedling right through to maturity with decisions about its growth and care needing to be made through the programme. Measurements and photographs need to be taken and recorded as well as watering and protection from insect attacks. The programme focuses strongly on the scientific side of plant growth and includes relative scientific experiments that can be conducted in the classroom as well as a plant encyclopaedia and fun games for children to take part in.
- Fens Tourism
- Lincolnshire Fenland Leader+
How to obtain
The Virtual Seed can be obtained as part of a schools visit to Fenscape or by mail order (call 01775 764800).
Fenscape: The Fens Discovery Centre