East Anglia is found on the Eastern side of Great Britain. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish whether it is on the southern or the eastern side of the country. Generally people have assumed that East Anglia is on the eastern side of England. Over time the definition of the area has changed. Today East Anglia consists of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. In the past parts of Essex have been included in the region but this is not the case today.
The area is bordered by the North Sea to the north and east and the sea is constantly shaping the region as East Anglia has areas that suffer from the fastest rates of erosion in the country. As the area spreads toward the south the borders touch both Essex and the Thames Estuary. The counties of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire lie to the west of the region. The part of the North Sea to the north west of East Anglia is the Wash. This is a large estuary that is fed by the rivers Great Ouse, Witham, Welland and Nene. It separates the region from the county of Lincolnshire and is a square shaped bay.
The wash is responsible for much of the topography of East Anglia. In previous times flood waters from the bay have covered the area, leaving behind huge amounts of sediment that is now a major feature of the flat landscape. The coastline has changed markedly with Kings Lyn now lying inland despite previously being part of the coastline. This mass deposition has led to large areas of sandbanks being found in the area and has proved hazardous for boats to navigate.
Much of the lowland areas of the region lies within the Fens. The region was once marsh land but centuries ago man implemented drainage in the area, leaving behind rich agricultural soils that are farmed intensively. A feature of the Fens are the man-made rivers and canals that now drain the region. They are intermingled with pumping stations that have created the dry soils that now yield so much agricultural produce. The whole area only lie a few metres above sea level and the current concern will be what will happen if global warming continues, resulting in a raise in global sea levels. The coastline is already defended by many sea defense projects but there will be little that anyone could do if the defenses were to be breached.
As well as the draining of the Fens leaving behind some of the most fertile soils in the country, the area has been able to utilize the waterways. The canals and rivers are now heavily used by barges and other craft that has brought many tourists into the area. Tourists have also been attracted by the natural flora and fauna of the region. The coastal areas have rare and fragile ecosystems, such as fresh water and salt water marshes that each year attracts an abundance of wild life. Many rare bird species such as the Bittern migrate into the area, and many people visit trying to spot these rare birds.
East Anglia is one of the driest regions in the United Kingdom. Being situated on the eastern side of the country it is not affected quite as much by the North Atlantic Drift quite as much as the western areas of the country. As well as receiving less rain, the region experiences cooler winters and warmer summers. This has resulted in producing ideal climate conditions for the production of wheat. With the rich soils and flat land, this has resulted in more wheat being produced than anywhere else in the country.
England is renowned as a very green country. This is not quite the case in East Anglia and the region is quite unique with its geography.