The Ouse Washes :: Shared Description

The Ouse Washes, also known as The Hundred Foot Washes, is an area of deliberately flooded grassland (washland) lying between the Old and New Bedford Rivers. These rivers are derived from the River Great Ouse, a major tributary of East Anglia's Wash. They were dug in the 16th & 17th centuries as part of a programme to drain The Fens of floodwater for agriculture. In 1630, King Charles I granted a drainage charter to the 4th Earl of Bedford who engaged the Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden to construct the two Bedford rivers. The purpose of the new rivers was to facilitate drainage of the River Great Ouse between Earith and Downham Market.
The New Bedford River flows through the entire length of the washland and The River Delph flows through the washes either side of Welney. The flood waters are contained between 2 parallel embankments - The Old Bedford Barrier Bank and the Hundred Foot Bank - and the area between the banks is approximately 20 miles long and half a mile wide in places. It is permanent grassland and used for livestock grazing when not flooded and acts as washland or flood reservoir allowing the flow of water to the sea to be contained and released in a controlled way during the winter and occasionally in summer.
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by Richard Humphrey
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197 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

TL4483 : On the edge of The Counter Drain by Richard Humphrey
TL3974 : The pasture ends - The Ouse Washes at Earith by Richard Humphrey
TL5192 : Shades of blue - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL5394 : Hoar frost and The River Delph - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4583 : Summertime flooding - The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL4381 : Frosty - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL5292 : The Old Bedford River - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL5293 : Flooded and frozen - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4381 : Shades of blue - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL4481 : Rising flood water - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL5192 : Footpath on the embankment - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4076 : Flood gate ? - The Ouse Washes near Earith by Richard Humphrey
TL5090 : Footpath on the bank - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4380 : One man and his dog - The Ouse Washes at Sutton Gault by Richard Humphrey
TL4482 : Counter Drain near Fortrey's Hall - The Ouse Washes near Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL4381 : Icy blue - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL3974 : A new lock? - The Ouse Washes at Earith by Richard Humphrey
TL4177 : Winter flood water on The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL4583 : Swans on The Old Bedford River - The Ouse Washes near Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL4483 : Track along The Counter Wash - The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL4075 : Flood protection bank - The Ouse Washes near Earith by Richard Humphrey
TL4381 : Swans - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL5292 : Winter flooding - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4784 : The bank of The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL4279 : Reeds - The Ouse Washes at Sutton Gault by Richard Humphrey

... and 172 more images.

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Created: Thu, 24 Dec 2015, Updated: Mon, 15 Feb 2016

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2015 Richard Humphrey, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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