The New Bedford River

The New Bedford River is a near-straight drainage channel between Earith and Denver Sluices. It is also known as the Hundred Foot Drain because of the distance between the tops of the two embankments on either side of the river.

New Year’s Day 2018, one bank was cut short and you could only walk so far along it before you’re wading into the water. It happens every year, nothing unusual. The man-made cut-off, bypass, channel for the River Great Ouse in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, allows water from the land to drain into the sea (at The Wash). The drain itself is tidal and you can see the ebb and flow at Welney, which is more than 30 km from the coast.

There was lots of bird activity along the Drain: pied wagtail, grey wagtail, redwing, grey heron, starling, robin, coal tit, great tit, blue tit, long-tailed tit, chaffinch, meadow pipit, goldfinch, buzzard, wren, kestrel, mute swan, black-headed gull…