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Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre

Nr Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Location Guide

Covering 1,000 acres the reserve plays host each winter to around 9,000 migratory Whooper and Bewicks swans from Arctic Russia and Iceland along with tens of thousands of other wildfowl. These dramatic wetlands at Welney, on the Ouse Washes, are home to some of the most spectacular winter gatherings of wild swans.

In the summer, Welney offers a relaxing opportunity to see rich varieties of rare waders and other wildlife.

Occasionally, during the winter months, the A1101 between Welney village and Suspension bridge is flooded. This flooding can also affect access to some parts of the reserve. At these times, regular updates will be posted on the website. In times when there is no flooding, no further notice will be posted. If you are unsure about the current conditions, or would like further information, please call the centre on 01353 860711 before you leave home.

Reasons to visit


Rare wading birds arrive with the breeding season. Guided walks give you closer views of Avocet, Lapwing, Snipe, Common Tern and Little Ringed Plover on their nests and raising chicks. 


Discover over 40% of all British wetland plant and flower species alive with butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. The Summer Walk takes you to parts of the Washes only accessible for 3 months of the year.


En route to warmer areas, a range of birds stop-off on the Washes including ruff, Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. Dazzling sunsets ripple on the flooded lagoons.


Watch from the centrally-heated observatory as 3,000 Whooper swans from Iceland join over 4,500 Bewick’s swans arrive from Arctic Russia to take refuge amongst thousands of ducks, geese and other water birds. From October through to March you can also enjoy daily swan feeds - see their website for details on times.

As well as the outdoor experiences they also have the:

  • Pond room which displays giant sized models of the creatures that live on the reserve.

  • Fenlands Worlds which through displays and models explains how the Ouse Washes were formed and about the lives of the Fen Tigers.

Further information Grid



Welney WWT, nr Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Ceremonial County:  

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Aerial Map



Best Times to Visit:

Any time of year, different times will see different wildlife visitors. More activities for children available during the summer months and school holidays.




Visit Welney WWT

Other useful websites:


Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:  


Planning Grid


Welney WWT, nr Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

12 miles north of Ely, it is 2 miles south of Welney village turning off the A1101 at the New Bedford suspension Bridge, signposted Ten Mile Bank.


Tarmac and hard-surfaced paths.


Free car park.


Cafe (serves hot food between 11am and 2.30pm), gift shop and art gallery.  Picnic area. In Focus optics shop stocking binoculars, telescopes and everything you need to watch wildlife.

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Wetland wildlife, butterflies, wild flowers, buildings, reed beds and other activities. Fenland World exhibition of why the Ouse Washes were formed and learn about the lives of the Fen Tigers.

What to take:

Telescope, binoculars, long lenses for when in hides, polarizer may be useful on sunny days when doing wider views. During winter months wrap up warm most of the site is outdoors.

Nature highlights:

Waders, Raptors, Wildfowl, butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers.


WWT Welney Wetland Centre

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Hundred Foot Bank


Nr Wisbech



PE14 9TN


01353 860711

Opening times:

Open daily 9.30am to 5pm during the Summer

Winter (1st Nov 10- 27 Feb 11) Mon, Tue and Wed 10am-5pm; Thurs-Sun 10am-8pm. Late night last admission 6.30pm.

Closed Christmas Day.


Free to WWT Members

Adult £6.70; Concession (Students, Over 65 and unemployed) £5.05, Child £3.30 (4-16 years); Family (2+2) £17.90

There are also special Group Admission Prices and Gift Aid prices.

Photo Restrictions:

Commercial and stock photography must be agreed in advance and is subject to a fee.

Other Restrictions: Keep to the paths at all times.
Special Needs Access: Level access to all areas. Car park has reserved bays.
Special Needs Facilities: Disabled toilet in main visitor centre, free wheelchair loan.
Children Facilities: During weekends and school holidays activities are put on for the younger visitor. Baby changing facilities.
Dogs Allowed: Dogs are not allowed in WWT Centres except guide/trained assistant dogs.

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: Welney_WWT Topic: Wildfowl & Wetland Spaces  Last Updated: 03/2010


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