Ouse Washes

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 Great Ouse between Earith and Downham Market. The area between the rivers is 20 miles (32 km) long and almost a mile wide and acts as washland, i.e. a floodplain during the winter and, increasingly, also in summer. When they are flooded this causes a 30-mile (48 km) detour for local residents.

Sutton Gault


  1. When I saw this photo I actually thought it was The Netherlands. A daily scene for me.

    Great photo! Might prefer a correct white balance though.

    Thank you for sharing (including the information)!

    Have a great day!


      1. Hi Peter!

        Thank you for your reply! I prefer natural colours in a scene like this, but I like how you give it your own twist! You’re the artist, the creator of this image, and you decide what’s best for this scene 🙂

        Keep up the good work!



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