Autumn and Winter events at Welney WWT

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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

 

Have a meander along your river

Do you live in or near Welney, Denver, March or Ely? They have something in common… Can you guess what they all have? Rivers! They all have their own character and issues. Would you like to enjoy and learn about your local Fenland rivers?

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This is a chance to enjoy a lovely, informative and sociable walk along some of our local rivers whilst discussing and gaining an understanding of issues and impacts upon these and other Fenland rivers and on the Ouse Washes. It will be a laid-back endeavour with stops to view the scenery and features, or to chat and take photographs.

The Ouse Washes

The Ouse Washes. Image by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation, all rights reserved.

A partnership (The Water Care Partnership) is working to investigate and work towards solutions for the problems these rivers face and which have been pointed out by the Environment Agency. This is where you and your ideas and involvement comes in! It is important to consider local communities’ perspectives and skills in the care and management of these valuable natural resources.

Everyone and anyone are welcome on these ‘Riverside Walks and Talks’ however the walks may not be suitable for some people like wheelchair users. Light refreshments will be provided and you can find out how to get involved with protecting your local environment.

There are four walks around the area, all of which will be approximately 2 miles and may take up to 2.5 hours.

Welney – Sunday 14th September 10am

“A catchment based approach to the Old Bedford and Middle Level catchment”

River at Welney

River Delph at Welney

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – Welney

Ely – Sunday 14th September 2pm

“Our part in the bigger picture”

River at Ely

River Great Ouse at Ely

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – Ely

Denver – Saturday 20th September 10am

“A catchment based approach to the Old Bedford and Middle Level catchment”

River at Denver

The Tidal River and New Bedford River at Denver

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – Denver

March – Saturday 20th September 2pm

“A catchment based approach to the Old Bedford and Middle Level catchment”

River at March

River Nene at March

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – March

Bookings are now being taken for the Riverside Walk and Talk events hosted by Cambridgeshire ACRE for the Water Care Partnership. Places are limited and so to book your place(s), please visit: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/walkandtalk. For more information on the work of the Water Care Partnership please visit www.watercarepartnership.wordpress.com. If you have any questions regarding any of the walks, please contact Jennie Thomas (Jennifer.thomas@cambsacre.org.uk or 01353 865044).

Dismantled railway line turned into great bridleway near March

 

In Logosmy introductory blog posted on the 18th July 2014, I mentioned a favourite ride on the old railway line that was taken out and transformed into a fabulous and popular public right of way.

Enjoying the old railway track

Enjoying the old railway track

The path is just outside March, which lies just outside the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area but is near Manea and within the wider Fenland area, and is therefore typical of the local tourism, recreational and countryside scene.

This dismantled railway line used to run from Chatteris, through Wimblington – which had its station that is now demolished – to March on the line from London to Kings Lynn, it ran from 1879 to the 1990s: http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/w/wimblington/

The railway track was always important and regularly used by passengers and freight until the numbers of trains dwindled and the track then persisted as a diversion route. The A141 bypass now follows the line to the south to Chatteris and bypasses Wimblington and Doddington. There are quite a lot of railway lines in East Anglia that have fallen out of use and become public rights of ways or have been preserved as historic artefacts – there’s a disused railway line at Somersham Nature Reserve, where there is also a lake following gravel extraction for the railway. You can read more about it here.

The railway line ride is part of Woodman’s Way and legally a footpath but it is signed as a permissive bridleway, which means the land owner has given permission for it to be used as a bridleway but this permission can be withdrawn at any time. It is a 2 mile ride to Wimblington from March.

The signpost and surrounding landsacpe

The signpost and surrounding landscape

A map of the circular route is in the Cambridgeshire County Council’s leaflet, which has other information about the area, including historical facts. Visit this link.

I usually go down the railway line as part of a circular route that includes carefully crossing the A141 Isle of Ely bypass to and from Wimblington and most of the route shown in the leaflet – I can only go down Knight End Road on my pony! – but occasionally I go one way then back, sometimes both at fast paces! I usually pass several other users so I am always careful. At the March end, it is accessible by a rough byway track that also continues onto the farmland. The choice is nice but I often do take the railway line because it offers a nice canter and interesting ride that is rich with butterflies and birds and has a verge of wildflowers, shrubs and grasses with the trees either side.

Mysterious and green way!

Many species of trees line the path and partly obscure the views of open arable land and a horse pasture. The trees are typical of the higher and drier areas of fenland (e.g hawthorn, willow and oak) on the clay hills of March, Wimblington and Doddington and represent the wildwood that surrounded the area inbetween deforestation and raised water levels over the last few thousands years. The varying types of trees of similar heights make the ride spectacular and fun – you would have to duck under some branches and ride along many features and shapes of trees. The ground is in good condition most of the way with little grass and became rough with trampling, wear and wet in a few places so good footwear is recommended. Some of the ground has been covered with bark surface by the community service to improve the surface enjoyed by riders, cyclists and walkers.

Other related posts on nearby circular walks:

Mepal

Manea

Other circular walks in the area (near Wimblington):

Doddington