Fenlandia is the shared vision of Professor Peter Fribbins and Stewart Howe, born out of their combined love for the arts, heritage and the unique allure of the Fens.


Peter Fribbins is a composer whose instrumental music is performed, broadcast, and recorded internationally. He studied with Hans Werner Henze in London and Italy, at the Royal Academy of Music, and at Royal Holloway and Nottingham universities. He is Professor of Music at Middlesex University and Artistic Director of the Sunday series of London Chamber Music Society concerts at Kings Place. Peter’s ancestors farmed the fens around Peterborough for hundreds of years, particularly in Holme, Ramsey and Stanground.

stewart howe

Stewart Howe has established a reputation in the voluntary sector as an innovator and firebrand. He is the founder of the Yaxley Festival, which draws in 35,000 visitors annually, and has contributed to the growth of numerous third sector organisations in the UK and overseas. His unorthodox approach to addressing social issues has led to collaborations with Lord Bird of the Big Issue, resulting in the creation of Social Echo and work on the launch of the ‘Making of Black Britain’ project, which currently features on Google Arts and Culture.


The name Fenlandia pays homage to Jean Sibelius’s orchestral work “Finlandia.” Just as “Finlandia” became an emblem of national identity amidst Finland’s struggle for independence, Fenlandia seeks to reflect the Fenland region’s unique character and heritage. By drawing parallels to “Finlandia’s” exploration of politics and cultural identity, Fenlandia aims to voice the cultural narrative of the Fenland people and their ties to this special region.


Fenlandia is dedicated to showcasing and preserving the richly intertwined cultural and environmental heritage of the Fenland region. This broad mission encompasses oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices, traditional craftsmanship, and the visual arts. These elements, all deeply rooted in the Fenland’s distinctive landscape and ecology, are brought to life through the local language, seen as a critical carrier of this profound heritage.



Middlesex University, as the academic lead, provides intellectual and creative direction for Fenlandia. This comes principally from its faculties of Creative Arts and Industries, and Science and Technology – the latter houses its internationally important Flood Hazard Research Centre.

inclusive focus

Fenlandia extends its reach beyond the natural boundaries of the Fenland basin to also include settlements along the fen edge. This expansion is designed to capture the distinctive culture and history of these areas, reflecting the shared heritage and mutual influences between the fenlands and their neighbouring communities.


While individual local authorities have led cultural strategies within their respective districts, Fenlandia takes a uniquely comprehensive approach, uniting these efforts to seek to represent the full cultural and environmental richness of the entire Fenland basin. It is this broad, inclusive focus that sets Fenlandia apart from district-specific initiatives, painting a more complete picture of the Fenland basin’s heritage.


Fenlandia is committed to contributing to the strategic priorities and goals of local authorities and partner organisations. By aligning its initiatives with these targets, Fenlandia helps further the agenda of local development, cultural enrichment, heritage preservation, and environmental conservation. Moreover, Fenlandia’s broad scope and international collaborations enhance local efforts, providing a platform to project Fenland’s unique character on the global stage.


Fenlandia caters to a broad audience spectrum. Its diverse programming aims to engage different demographics, promoting a community-wide appreciation and understanding of the Fenland region’s rich heritage and its symbiotic relationship with the local environment.

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