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50th Anniversary of WWT Welney

Posted on 07 Nov 2020

WWT Welney first warden Josh Scott swan feed.jpg

This time 50 years ago the Wildfowl Trust now known as the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) was donated 100 acres of land on the Ouse Washes in 1970. This was the mark of the second wetland reserve from the remarkable pioneer, Sir Peter Scott.

At 50 years old, Welney Wetland Centre would like to pay tribute to the Scott family, staff, volunteers, Friends of Welney and all the supporters that have worked so hard. Many have dedicated their lives which is why we are where we are today, during this iconic celebration of 50 years.

To this day, we have connected well over a million people to our site for nature conservation, helping people to have an understanding of wetlands and why they are so important in our lives, especially in these turbulent times. Only this week, witnessing tens of thousands of birds returning from their Artic breeding grounds and the joy they bring, is just one example why WWT are here.

If we had to round up 50 years of successes, it would be take a very long time but here are just a few highlights.

  • Welcoming the Queen on two occasions to a swan feed where we lit up the area of water at night with a heated observatory to enjoy the deafening sound of hundreds of wild swans of both the whooper and Bewick’s as they suddenly become tame to a wheelbarrow feed for everyone to enjoy.
  • Protecting over 1500 acres of grassland and enhancing wetland species making this a globally important site - and still finding new species to date.
  • Pushing boundaries by creating wetlands like Lady Fen and having an amazing eco visitor centre where you can view the fens and appreciate the iconic fenland skies with a coffee in hand.
  • Finally the positive energy and support shown by everyone when the Ouse Washes floods so badly and having to deal with the changing seasons from climate change.

4. Queen watches swans.jpg