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Wetlands| Welney and Ouse Washes

Ouse Washes (map)

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Four hundred years ago Welney was a mass of shallow lakes and reedy straits but man's intervention changed its landscape forever.
Today it's a wetland haven for wintering birds.

Just down the road from Welney is Ouse Washes, another great place to watch nature in a very natural location.

Wetlands (Index: Whooper Swan c/o RSPB Images/Sue Tranter

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Wetlands are a haven for birds, mammals and insects especially in the autumn.

Wetland activities (Image: Fungi)

Wetland Activities

  • Wetlands offer great wildlife watching including brilliant bird watching during the autumn months.

Welney - Visitor Guide


WWT Welney Wetland Centre, Hundred Foot Bank, Welney
near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

Ouse Washes, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire.

Postcode PE14 9TN
Telephone:Welney Wetland Centre - 01353 860711
RSPB Ouse Washes - 01354 680212

01353 863524


Welney Reserve -


RSPB Ouse Washes -


Streetmap of Welney.


RSPB map to Ouse Washes.

Ordnance Survey:

Welney: OS ref - TL527941
Ouse Washes: OS ref TL 471860

Key attraction:Bird watching.
Essential kit:Sensible footwear. Binoculars and scopes for bird watching.
Nature watching:

Bird watching. Nature trail.


WWT Welney: To see the swans returning, head down to the reserve before dusk to see them fly in about 4pm.


The floodlit feeds take place every Wednesday to Sunday at 6.30pm from November to February.


WWT Welney - Visitor centre and Wigeon Cafe. Picnic area. Ten hides. Centrally heated swan hide. Binocular hire. Shop and Observatory.


Disabled access: Welney reserve has tarmac or hard-surfaced paths on main routes. There are low-level viewing windows in the bird hides. Free wheelchair loan. Accessible toilets in visitor centre. Reserved bays for disabled visitors.


Ouse Washes - Variable terrain with some slopes. One disabled access hide.

Designated parking bays at Welches Dam. Nature trail suitable for the wheelchair adventurous.

Getting there:

Welney Wetland Centre is located 12 miles north of Ely. It lies 2 miles south of Welney village - turn off the A1101 at the New Bedford Suspension Bridge and look for signposts to Ten Mile Bank.


Car parking.

Opening times:

Welney Reserve is open daily, except Christmas Day.

Winter opening times - Mondays and Tuesdays open
10.00am-5.00pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
10.00am-8.00pm. Saturdays & Sundays - open
10.00am-8.00pm. Late night last admission at 6.30pm.

Summer - open 9.30am to 5.00pm.

Daytime Wild Swan Feeds - Saturday 20 October 2007 to Sunday 24 February 2008 - Monday - Sunday at 3.30pm
Wednesday 26 December 2007-Sunday 24 February 2008
Monday-Sunday at 12 noon.


RSPB Ouse Washes - the bird watching hides are always open. The visitor centre is open 9am-5pm daily except 25 and 26 December.


Welney - Adults £5.85; Concessions £4.40; Children £3.00 (4 -16 years); Family: £14.00 (two adults and two children); Free to WWT members. Floodlit Feeds - extra charge.


RSPB Ouse Washes - free but donations welcome.

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