Autumn and Winter events at Welney WWT

logos

Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is holding a series of fascinating wildlife and rural crafts events and workshops – wildlife photography, garden and willow structures and Christmas decorations, and watching, feeding and learning about swans from October to April. All of this is happening at the Welney Wetland Centre, Welney, Hundred Foot Bank, Norfolk, PE14 9TN. Take a look at these posters, take your picks and enjoy!

WWT Welney wildlife photography workshops 2014:

Welney WWT wildlife photography

Welney WWT wildlife photography

Willow workshops at WWT Welney poster:

Welney WWT willow and garden and decoration workshops

Welney WWT willow and garden and decoration workshops

WWT Welney Swans awake events 2014-15:

Welney WWT swan watching at dawn

Welney WWT swan watching at dawn

WWT Welney Swan feeds 2014-15:

Welney WWT opportunities to feed and learn about swans

Welney WWT opportunities to feed and learn about swans

 

World War I activities and events in Littleport

This autumn looks set to be a busy one in Littleport. The Field Theatre Group has joined forces with many other groups, organisations and individuals throughout the town to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Logos

These events have truly been a community-wide effort. Festival partners include: Littleport Parish Council, Littleport Primary School, Littleport WI, The Village Hall committee, The Grange Care Home, Littleport Lyrics, Littleport Rotary, Littleport British Legion, The Field Theatre Group and St George’s Church. With such a wide range of organisations on board, we can all look forward to a season of moving and memorable events this centenary autumn.

WWI soldier Littleport sign

Look out for our free programmes. These will be appearing in September, in the Barn, the Library, the new Adams Heritage Centre, and many other places throughout the town. Pick up a copy and see for yourself what is on offer.

There is still time to enter the Littleport Festival Fourteen poetry completion (new closing date 4 September) : Perspectives. Entry is free, and open to all who live, work or study in the East Cambs region, regardless of age, ability or background. Those not qualifying are still invited to contribute to our new anthology. We are inviting submissions of poems or prose, or letters which reflect on the First World War from the perspective of 100 years in time.

There are 2 categories, Under 16 & adult. The competition winners will receive a commemorative medal and a cash prize at our gala prize night on 15 November . All entries will be published in a new anthology also entitled Perspectives. Shortlisted entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology. Join with us in creating a tribute in verse to those who sacrificed so much for us.

New poetry comp flier WWI littleport

We have been grateful to have had many offers of funds and support for these events. We are, however, still seeking donations provide further funds for some events.  If you would like to make a contribution, or volunteer your help in any way, we would love to hear from you!

We are looking for volunteers for help with displays, front-of-house, refreshments, transport and tasks of every kind. With your support we can make this once-in-a-hundred-year chance to commemorate the sacrifice of our forefathers, a very special time.  A proportion of Festival proceeds will be donated to the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

For full details of this and The Field Theatre Group’s other projects please visit our website or our Facebook pages: Field Theatre Group or Littleport WW1.

Deborah Curtis & Jennifer Stevens, The Field Theatre Group.

www.fieldtheatregroup.btck.co.uk; thefieldtheatregroup@hotmail.co.uk

Tel 01353 863595/862042

What’s going on!

LogosBusy busy here in the Ouse Washes with a number of events that we are going to attend with activities and information and perhaps even some biscuits made with local honey…

We will be at:
Sutton Gault Day on Sunday 29th June
Manea Gala (all day)/ Coveney Church Fete (3 – 5 pm) on Saturday 12th July
& Haddenham Steam Rally on Saturday 6th September

Here is our first use of the Ouse Washes Team Selfie so you can locate us with ease (left to right – Abby, Mark, Jono)Ouse washes team selfie

Here’s hoping for the right kind of weather and to see you soon out and about in the Ouse Washes.  If you would like us to include your local event in an upcoming posting or have any suggestions for activities/ info to take give us a shout!

[other events in the area coming soon… Fenland Midsummer Food and Craft Fair on Saturday 21st June at the Secret Garden Touring Park in Wisbech and the last day of the week long Swavesey event also on Saturday 21st June…Chatteris Midsummer Festival on 27 – 29th June…Needingworth Festival on Sat/ Sun 28th/29th June]

On the out-and-about theme I attended a Rotary club dinner recently to talk about the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP) work. I spoke in my usual effusive manner about the OWLP scheme though it became clear that some audience members were keen to hear much more about the complexities of the water level management in the area and traditional fens activities.Though it is impossible to give all aspects of this fabulous and diverse area a full treatment in 20 minutes it did make me think about how close some aspects of the area are held to the heart and how best we can recognise and acknowledge this.  One gentleman did speak out saying “we need to focus on the future now” which really sums up where we are as a partnership… linking the stories of the past and the possibilities of the future…

On that note I am keen to find pairs of traditional fenland and modern activities/ objects and would welcome any suggestions: so far there is Molly dancing & Zumba/ Windmills and windturbines…. any suggestions?

Upcoming events at the OWLP wetland reserves

LogosSpring is definitely in the air, and many new events are being organised in the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area’s wetland reserves.

This Saturday 22 March (tomorrow, from 2-5, you can join the Warden at RSPB Ouse Fen for a ‘Reedbed Ramble’, to find out all about the ongoing conversion of the Hanson Quarry into a wetland habitat:

For more information, see: http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-354396

Next week Sunday 30 March, WWT Welney is organising a special Mother’s Day lunch; make sure to book early:

Mothers Day WWT Welney 2014

for more information, see also: http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/welney/whats-on/2014/03/30/mothers-day-lunch/

More walking can be done at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes on Tuesday 4 April,  from 2 to 3 PM, for an organised Health Walk: http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-359203

Fen Drayton Lakes Great Crested Grebes @Neildethridge Mar 13 2014

Fen Drayton Lakes: Great Crested Grebes. Picture by Neil Dethridge @Neildethridge March 2014

Summer events

Heritage Lottery FundIt is summer time, so many places in and around the Ouse Washes area have organised an events programme.

With the kids off school, a lot of venues are organising family friendly activities. Just a short selection of what’s going on:

Wildlife Reserves:

Museums:

New Fen book:

Cllr Mike Rouse will be in Burrows Bookshop, this Thursday, August 1st (11AM – 12:30 PM_ to sign his latest book, ‘The Ghosts of Fens End’.  See also this news article

Downham Market Water Festival: 11 August, http://www.downhamweb.co.uk/water-festival/

Hilgay Vintage Countryshow, 10-11 August: http://www.fensvintage.co.uk/shows/hilgay/Archaeology:

Archaeology:

An exciting tour is given this Wednesday (31 July; 7PM) at Earith Bulwark, the best preserved Civil War fort in the country. A unique change to see the earthworks up close (is on privately owned land, so access is not granted very often). See also Cambridgeshire County Council’s Archaeology Public Events Programme 2013

Events in the future

As part of our delivery phase (starting April 2014), we will have a dedicated Ouse Washes website. On this, we intend to have a comprehensive list of events in the area, providing people with a one-stop-shop to what’s on?

My question to you is: what kind of events are you after? Do let me know (click on the comments ‘balloon’ at the top, or send me an email). We will take your wishes on board when designing our website.

Fen Drayton: an Oasis of Tranquility

Heritage Lottery FundAfter a meeting with the RSPB at their office in Swavesey late last week, I took the opportunity to explore the southern end of the Ouse Washes LPS area, in and around Fen Drayton lakes.

This is a surprising tranquil area. Besides the numerous birds singing, there really are hardly any background sounds – a very rare and beautiful tranquil place. Tranquility is what sets a great part of the Ouse Washes apart from other landscapes, and can certainly be experienced here.

Fen Drayton 11Jan2013 028

Fen Drayton lakes

The Fen Drayton lakes, and nearby Ouse Fen – the former quarries near Needingworth -, both located alongside the river Great Ouse, are managed as nature reserves by the RSPB. Together, they provide for a bewildering variety of lakes, river meadows and other wetland habitats, attracting in particular huge numbers of birds.The Fen Drayton and Ouse Fen nature reserves form key elements in the Great Ouse Wetland Vision, a strategic programme jointly managed by the RSPB, WWT and WTBCN.

Like those in the Ouse Washes washlands further north, the nature reserves here have man-made origins. This is another key feature of the whole of the Ouse Washes LPS: engineered or otherwise man-made structures having become a haven for wildlife.

There will be several projects as part of the delivery phase for the Ouse Washes LPS project which will join up with the strategic Great Ouse Wetland programme: helping with improvements to conservation works, interpretation and access facilities in and around the wetland sites. This will include training volunteers to deliver these projects. I will let you know more about these projects in due course.

Fen Drayton 11Jan2013 037

Guided Busway stop in the heart of Fen Drayton, with cycle parking facilities and information shelter

The great access facilities at Fen Drayton mean that this southern end of the Ouse Washes LPS area can function as a prime area for community engagement activities throughout the three years of the delivery phase. The Guided Busway, which runs through Fen Drayton, has a stop in the heart of the reserve, from which several long walks can be made to explore the varied landscape and its wildlife. And with the cycle route (part of Sustrans Route 51) parallel to the guided busroute, a day out here can even be entirely free for people living in Cambridge or St. Ives.

Check out the events programme at Fen Drayton here: amongst others, guided walks and activities for children are held here regularly

Events in and around the Ouse Washes

Heritage Lottery FundThere are several events in and around the Ouse Washes area which are worth going to:

Interested in wildlife? Come and see the spectacular swan feeding sessions at Welney Wetland Centre. These are scheduled most days at set times, and include the floodlit feeds at 6:30 several days a week. Found out more at http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/welney/whats-on/

Interested in history and archival research? Ely Library hosts a free workshop from 2 – 3:30 PM, tomorrow 8 January, called ‘Local history in libraries – what do we have?’. Although this workshop is focused on Ely, the public library also contains a remarkable collection of books concerning the Fens’ history. More info at http://www.cambridgeshire.net/event/engage-local-history-in-libraries/87032.aspx

Interested in art? Valerie Orchard on her Norfolk Landscape paintings. Ely Art Society hosts this event in the Ely Methodist Church on Friday 11 January, at 7:30 PM. http://visitely.eastcambs.gov.uk/events/ely-art-society-11th-january-2013

Do you have any events, talks, exhibitions, nature walks or community projects in and around the Ouse Washes? Please mail the details to me at mark.nokkert@cambsacre.org.uk and I can promote these on this blog.