WWT Welney Wetland Centre Swan Feed

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We visited the WWT Welney Wetland Centre in November 2010 whilst visiting our relations in Norfolk.

If you are a Photographer, Bird Watcher or a person who merely enjoys nature, this nature center is a joy to visit.

The Welney Wetland Centre is Britain’s largest area of seasonally-flooded land covering 420 hectares.

In the wintertime, 9,000 Whooper and Bewick’s Swans arrive in this Wetland Center. These beautiful swans winter on the Ouse Washes at Welney making their way here from Iceland and Arctic Russia.

Upon our visit we were lucky enough to witness the Swan Feed …

… it is certainly a spectacle not to be missed.

Whilst watching the Swans in their natural habitat through an observation window in the heated observation hide, one of the wardens gave us an educational commentary regarding the swans and ducks that winter at Welney, as well as some interesting history of the site.

Afterwards, the swans were fed in front of the hide windows where we were able to observe the gorgeous wild swans and ducks up close. The Swans are fed daily from October through to March.

However, not only Swan and Duck Species can be observed. Many other species can be seen from the reserve’s hides, paths and board walks of the Welney Wetland Centre, comprising …

… Pintail, Avocet, Shoveler, Pochard, Wigeon and Ruff.

There are also breeding populations to be observed including …

Redshank, Snipe, Little Ringed Plover, Marsh Harrier, Gadwall, Gargany, Teal, Skylark, Yellow Wagtail and Reed Bunting.

Welney is also an internationally important breeding ground for the Black-tailed Godwit.

There is also more natural beauty in this park to behold …

… The Welney Wetland Centre is carpeted with wildflowers during the summer. You will be able to enjoy wildflowers such as Hair-like Pondweed and Water-Parsnip.

There is much more wildlife in the park, such as …

… more than 300 species of Moths that have been recorded at this wetland center.

… The waterways carry Scare Fish and Spined Loach as well as a red book-listed compressed mussel.

There are also three types of Fly-Killing Snail, and you may be lucky enough to witness …

… Bats and Dragonflies hunting overhead and Grass Snakes living in the reed beds.

Within the reserve, there are plenty of hides, and paths, and there are many interesting exhibitions …

… for instance, exhibitions explaining how the Ouse Washes were created in the 18th Century to reduce flooding in order to free up fenland for Agriculture.

We found our visit to the Welney Wetland Centre thoroughly enjoyable and very educational.

The Welney Wetland Centre is situated …

… just 2 miles south of Welney Village. You just have to turn off the A1101 at the New Bedford Suspension Bridge, sign-posted Ten Mile Bank. The centre is 12 miles north of Ely, 26 miles north of Cambridge and 33 miles east of Peterborough.

Unfortunately, there are times when the A1101 between Welney Village and Suspension Bridge floods, so if this is the case, you can access the centre from Ely or Downham Market off the A10.

The centre is open 7 days a week, with the exception of Christmas Day. There is a map on their website to help you find the centre as well as an Opening Time Schedule.

Groups and schools are welcome, and there is an abundance of information regarding booking on the website.

WWT Welney Wetland Centre also has many scheduled activities, special days, an Eco-Christmas Fayre, Christmas Lunches, as well as Workshops to take part in.

There is a café onsite.

WWT have 9 visitor centres in total, located across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These include:

  • Arundel Wetland Centre
  • Caerlaverock Wetland Centre
  • Castle Espie Wetland Centre
  • Llanelli Wetland Centre
  • London Wetland Centre
  • Martin Mere Wetland Centre
  • Slimbridge Wetland Centre
  • Washington Wetland Centre
  • Welney Wetland Centre

There is a fee for entry to the WWT Welney Wetland Centre; however, if you become a member, you receive unlimited access. For further information, please visit wwt.org.uk/welney (just click on the Become a Member icon on the Our Nature Reserve page). There is also an abundance of information on each centre, including maps, on the WWT website.

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