I drove out to Welney Wetlands Bird sanctuary with my wife Carole today. We had heard about the place and seen it on Spring Watch TV. Because it is only a few miles away, we decided to give the place a try.
It was a big area of marshland that attracts all kinds of wildlife and there were various bird hides. There were a number of things going on. I tried to take a number of shots on my camera but the swallows were too fast and most came out blurred. I managed a few that were passable and wondered about clicking away contentedly and hoping for the best. There were a number of birds that I already had taken photos of so I left much out. Carole and I mostly enjoyed the walk through paths that lead through the marshlands.
Once the Roman invaders and the Normans could never placate these areas because it was so difficult to get through the marshes. The area was as inhospitable as the marsh dwellers or Flanders of the day.
However, in the 16th and 17th century drainage engineers came over from the Netherlands and used the labour of thousands of men to dig canal systems. In the 16th century it was done by Scottish prisoners of war and during the 17th century the Parliamentarian forces of the area used Royalist prisoners of war to do the canal drainage systems.
The Weleny Wetlands is a flood plain that is still allowed to flood during autumn and winter. It brings in various flock of swans and geese from all areas of Europe and further beyond.