Wisbech sewage farm in Cambridgeshire was operational from 1871-1985 and was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1978. It was famous for the number and variety of birds it attracted, particularly waders.
A Farm in the Marsh, written by local birdwatcher and artist John Moyes, presents an account of the site's ornithological history, focusing on the author’s observations there, which stretch from 1954 until the farm’s demise in 1985. It comprises a series of historical maps, an introduction to the site, a systematic bird list, a series of annual count tables and annual reviews, and an appendix of cuttings and correspondence. The book is enriched with numerous sketches and paintings made by the author.
"[...] The book is dominated by its artwork, which is extraordinarily varied. [...] His care for precise colour reproduction is seen in his inclusion of loose replacement sheets for two unsatisfactory plates. He is less at ease with a pen than with a brush, and his text is in places awkward: a proof-reader might have been useful, but, as a true fenman, he probably wanted no outsider to share in this celebration of his life's work. There are hints of impatience with invaders from Norwich or Cambridge, and his rarity record does not always agree with the national standard: his Least and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers Calidris minutilla/acuminata were not accepted, but it is always likely that a frequent visitor to a site will see a difficult rarity on his own and there is no harm in recording it. Now, of course, a digital photo may settle the issue. The dedication is to the memory of a lifelong friend, Tony Vine, for many years the leading figure in Fenland ornithology. He would have loved this book. In its limited edition, it will surely itself become a rarity."
– David Ballance, Ibis, August 2021