OuseFest: Celebrate history, wildlife and habitats of Ouse Washes with fortnight of activities

Ouse Washes at Earith. Picture: BILL BLAKE HERITAGE DOCUMENTATION

Ouse Washes at Earith. Picture: BILL BLAKE HERITAGE DOCUMENTATION - Credit: Archant

A packed fortnight of events will celebrate the history of the Ouse Washes, its wildlife and habitats.

Girls birdwatching. Picture: WWT WELNEY WETLAND CENTRE

Girls birdwatching. Picture: WWT WELNEY WETLAND CENTRE - Credit: Archant

OuseFest begins on Monday and offers events across the Ouse Washes Landscape and surrounding area until August 2 – from Denver to St Ives, from Ely to Chatteris.

There will be wildlife safaris, walking tours, arts and literature events, museum trails, filming workshops, family fun days and much more.

Sara Marshall, countryside engagement and marketing officer at the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership, which has organised the event, said: “We are incredibly excited about OuseFest and hope it gives you additional opportunities to connect with your local area and meet new people in your communities.”

Highlights of the two-week programme include the OuseFest fun day, at Mepal Outdoor Centre on July 25.

Climbing at Mepal Outdoor Centre. Picture: WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY

Climbing at Mepal Outdoor Centre. Picture: WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant


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Visitors can take part in an RSPB Treasure Hunt, get creative making mosaics or relax in the trees with story-telling.

There will be music, games, dancing and a cinema room to unwind. Learn about barn owls, discover the history of eels with an art installation and encounter different cultures.

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On July 26, explore the history of drainage technology through wind, steam and diesel on a 27-mile circular trail in East Cambs, accessible by car or bike.

It takes in Prickwillow Drainage Engine Museum, Wicken Fen Wind Pump and Stretham’s Old Engine House. A map is available on the OuseFest website.

The Environment Agency holds a day of fun at Denver Sluice on July 28. Boat trips, a rowing experience and a chance to get close to eels are among the attractions.

There is also a rare chance to explore four medieval churches within the Ouse Washes Landscape area, on July 31. The churches in Coveney, Sutton, Witcham and Mepal will be open for the day.

For more information about the festival, visit www.ousewashes.org.uk/ousefest

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