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:

TL4482 : Late spring flooding - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL4177 : On the edge of the Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL4684 : The Ouse Washes - Reflections in The New Bedford River by Richard Humphrey
TL3974 : Wire on the water - The Ouse Washes at Earith by Richard Humphrey
TL5090 : Probably the highest footpath in The Fens - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL5393 : No flood water on Wash Road - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL5088 : March to Ely railway viaduct - The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL4177 : Jolly Banker's Bridge - The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL5292 : A thicket of trees - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4584 : Between Welches Dam and Mepal - The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL5192 : The River Delph in flood - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL5392 : The New Bedford River - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4381 : Winter washland - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL5292 : Reeds and flood water - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4177 : Swans on The Old Bedford River - The Ouse Washes by Richard Humphrey
TL4482 : Teasels on the bank - The Ouse Washes near Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL4280 : Fence on the bank - The Ouse Washes between Mepal and Sutton Gault by Richard Humphrey
TL5091 : Woodland under water - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL5493 : Hundred Foot Bank by Richard Humphrey
TL4279 : Flooded - The Ouse Washes at Sutton Gault by Richard Humphrey
TL4481 : The New Bedford River - The Ouse Washes at Mepal by Richard Humphrey
TL4380 : Only two wings remain - The Ouse Washes near Sutton Gault by Richard Humphrey
TL4076 : Fully flooded - The Ouse Washes near Earith by Richard Humphrey
TL5292 : Island of reeds - The Ouse Washes near Welney by Richard Humphrey
TL4177 : Early winter flooding on The Ouse Washes 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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