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About Ouse Washes

Cattle at Ouse Washes

Image: Chris Gomersall

In the heart of The Fens, the Ouse Washes forms the largest area of washland (grazing pasture that floods in the winter) in the UK. The reserve attracts thousands of ducks and swans in winter, and in spring, hundreds of snipe, lapwings and redshanks breed. This is an excellent site for dragonflies in summer. Shallow flood levels provide the best viewing conditions for winter ducks and swans. You can call the reserve for an update on the current flood level.

Opening times

The birdwatching hides are open at all times. The visitor centre is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Entrance charges

Free, but donations to help us continue our work here are welcome.

If you are new to birdwatching...

Very good for birdwatching from the visitor centre from December to March.

Information for dog owners

Dogs are only allowed on public footpaths and bridleways

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 52.45212,0.16328
  • Postcode: PE15 0NF
  • Grid reference: TL471860
  • Nearest town: Chatteris, Cambridgeshire
  • County: Cambridgeshire
  • Country: England

Get directions

Note: Some reserves are not served directly by public transport and, in these cases, a nearby destination (from which you may need to walk or take a taxi or ferry) may be offered.

Collections