Ouse Washes

Chatteris

In the heart of The Fens, the Ouse Washes forms the largest area of washland (grazing pasture that flood in the winter) in the UK. The Ouse Washes Landscape, surrounding this 17th century master-piece of drainage engineering, is a fascinating man-made place to visit whether you're looking for fun-filled outdoor activities, rich and diverse history and culture or perfect tranquility.


The Ouse Washes Landscape, stretching for over 48km between Denver Complex near Downham Market and Fen Drayton Lakes in between St Ives and Cambridge, is a very distinctive landscape that also happens to be immensely beautiful. Huge open skies, expansive views, strongly linear landscape features and isolated settlements give it a sense of mystery and tranquility.


The area has unique historic origins, is an important food production area, contains abundant and internationally significant wildlife, and offers rich fenland cultural customs, folklore and arts. It's been home to Oliver Cromwell, the Hovertrain trials of the 1970s and Fen Skating champions.


The Ouse Washes Landscape makes a fascinating place to visit no matter what you're in to and no matter what time of year it is:


  • Have amazing wildlife encounters in all seasons by visiting the RSPB Ouse Washes reserve, the WWT Welney Wetland Centre, or the nearby RSPB Ouse Fen and Fen Drayton Lakes nature reserves. The RSPB Ouse Washes reserve and the nearby WWT Welney Wetland Centre attract thousands of ducks and swans in winter, and in spring, hundreds of snipe, lapwings and redshanks breed here.
  • Learn about the unique drainage story, the people who dug the channels and those that maintain the waterways. Take a trip to the hugely important Denver Sluice Complex or visit one of the fantastic museums in the area such as Ely Museum, Prickwillow Museum and Norris Museum in St Ives.
  • Relax on the river: Take boat trips or be your own captain starting in March, or in nearby Ely or St Ives.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities: There are several long-distance walk and cycle routes crossing the Ouse Washes Landscape. Or try some other activities including archery and canoeing at Mepal Outdoor Centre, fly a microlight with Airplay Aviation or take a trip on the Fenland Light Railway.
  • Enjoy local customs: The Ouse Washes Landscape is rich with distinctive Fenland customs, traditions, folklore and arts including Molly Dancing and Plough Monday celebrations. A huge programme of festivals, exhibitions and performances take place throughout the year, waiting for you to join in!

The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme (OWLP) has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, in order to promote the area surrounding the Ouse Washes, its fascinating wildlife and heritage, and to encourage community engagement with the area's diverse heritage. You can check out the partnership's website at www.ousewashes.org.uk for our regular and varied events and ideas for things to do in the area: see for instance our extensive What''s On Calendar, our Interactive Map and Volunteer opportunities sections.


For the second year running, we will also put on a good show during our fortnight of events from 18-31 July 2016, OuseFest 2016, with over 100 events lined up this year!


Supplied by Mark Nokkert
mark.nokkert@cambsacre.org.uk
01353 865030

Facilities

Free WiFi

Address

Ouse Washes
Counter Wash
Chatteris
PE15 0NF

Contact

01353 860850

Opening Times

Open at all times.

Prices

Free.


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Contact
Email:
Phone: 01354 654 321
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