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

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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.

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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.

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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