The eco-friendly visitor centre at WWT Welney is a flagship of sustainable living.
Visitor facilities within the centre include:
- Fenland Worlds Discovery Centre – providing an insight into how the people of the Fens used to make their livelihoods from the environment, complete with artefacts and stories from local people.
- Gift shop – a fully stocked shop with books, wildlife and locally-sourced products.
- Gallery – displays wildlife and wetland-themed art. A new display every two months.
- Wigeon cafe – whether it's winter warmers or a light summer snack you're after, our cafe has fresh and exciting daily and specials menus.
- Access to free wi-fi - within the cafe area.
- Disabled access – lifts can be used within the centre and ramps are available to get from the footbridge to the first hides. Wheelchairs are available for customer use, with 1 electric scooter (pre-booking advised) and 2 manual wheelchairs.
- Toilets – can be found on both floors of the visitor centre (include baby changing facilities). Please note: there are no toilet facilities out on the reserve.
- Free car-parking – we provide free car parking facilities with disabled spaces closest to the centre as well as a dropping off point and coach parking.
Eco-friendly features include:
- Ditches and drains in the car park to help slowly release run-off water into the environment and to benefit wildlife.
- Building materials such as the centre's wooden exterior was sourced from sustainable forests and the insulating materials are all made from recycled materials.
- A ventilation system is in place within the centre to cool it during hot, summer days rather than to use air conditioning.
- A ground-source heat pump is used to transfer naturally heated water from underground to the centre so that less electricity is used to heat the water from cold. This is used in the underfloor heating system.
- Rainwater harvester in the roof collects rain water which is used in flushing toilets within the centre.
- All ‘grey water’ (waste water) from the centre is filtered through a reed bed system, which eventually returns the clean water to ditches around the car park.
Fenland Worlds Discovery Centre
Fenland Worlds Discovery Centre can be found on the ground floor of the visitor centre and is an exhibition where you learn about how the habitat of the Fens had a huge influence on the way people lived their lives in the Welney area.
Learn about the Fen Tigers and the Fen skaters, how they would make their livelihoods from the materials found on the Ouse washes and how they founded hobbies on how the seasons affected the landscape.
Read the stories of the local people who remember days gone by in the area. Listen to how the weather and the flooding of the Ouse washes affected the day-to-day lives of these fascinating people.
Several artifacts adorn the walls of Fenland Worlds displaying the traditions of the area; so why not take a step back in time to find out about what wetland habitats have meant to people in this area surrounding the Ouse washes in years gone by!