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Water levels and access

Posted on 17 Dec 2020

The Ouse Washes are currently providing an essential role as a flood relief area. The high water levels on the reserve are protecting tens of thousands of hectares of farmland and thousands of homes in towns and villages, all along the River Great Ouse. The depth of the water on the reserve is resulting in fantastic numbers of diving ducks during the day - particularly pochard, with tufted ducks in amongst the flock. The swans that have been feeding out in the fields throughout the day are returning to the reserve at dusk, gliding down onto the water in front of the main hide. Good numbers of swans can be seen at the floodlit feeds on Saturdays and Sundays.

Lady Fen is providing a greater variety of birds, with the best views from the visitor centre and carpark. If you arrive before the centre opens at 10am, bring a hot drink and from the car park you can enjoy watching the swans flying out. During the day enjoy watching flocks of wigeon, lapwing and golden plover, as well as highlights including cattle egret, goldeneye, short-eared owl, pintail, shoveler, teal, shelduck, great white egret.

If you are travelling from Ely, Littleport or Downham Market you do not need to cross the flooded section of the A1101 to get to the visitor centre. There are road closed signs on the approach from Littleport, but these refer to if you want to access Welney village, you are fine getting to WWT Welney. If you are approaching from Chatteris, March or Wisbech you will need to get to the A10 at Downham Market or Ely, and approach from there. If you travel to WWT Welney without taking a diverted journey you will end up the wrong side of the flooded section of the A1101.