The Cawdle Fen Internal Drainage Board was originally constituted in 1737 and its District is situated on the south eastern fringe of the City of Ely in Cambridgeshire, part of the “South Level Fens”.
The District boundary encloses approximately 181ha. of land, with run off from approximately 25ha. of “highland water” from outside the District draining to the Board’s pumped catchment.
Some highland water from the fen “island” of Ely is intercepted by catchwater drains. The northern (0.9km.) and southern (1.1km.) catchwaters are maintained by the Board to provide a gravity discharge of surface water to the Ely Ouse River where possible. However, there is facility for the northern catchwater to “overflow” to the Board’s pumped system under extreme conditions.
The District was, until recent times, mainly an agricultural catchment. In the 1980s the Ely Southern Bypass was constructed through the District. This was accompanied by an allocation of 9.1ha. of land, within the District, for industrial development known as the “Cambridgeshire Business Park”.
In 1994 Tescos developed a major store and car park within the District and a further area of land was allocated for development known as the “Dock Development” (total 8.1ha.) at this time.