River Welland

River Welland

The River Welland is a river in the east of England, 56 km (35 m) long, and it has been a main waterway across the part of The Fens called "South Holland" for thousands of years. It rises near Market Harborough in Leicestershire, then flows eastwards to Ketton, Stamford, The Deepings, Crowland, Cowbit and Spalding, then into The Wash at Fosdyke Bridge.

It is one of the Fenland rivers which were laid out with washes. There are two channels between widely-spaced embankments with the intention that flood waters would have space in which to spread while the tide in the estuary prevented free egress. However, after the floods of 1947, new works such as the Coronation Channel were constructed to control flooding in Spalding and the washes are no longer, of necessity, pasture but may be used for arable farming.

Outside the banks lies fertile arable land, much of it marine silt, which suits the bulb-growing for which Spalding is famous, though this is less a feature of Spalding than it once was.


The river name is from Celtic, and "may" mean something like "good river" (equivalent to Humber. An undated record of the name refers to the place as "Weolud".

The current spelling of the name is a corruption of the Celtic, and appears to have been influenced by "well land", implying fertile land for pastures.

The river, in its upper reaches, supports a wild brown trout population. Chub and perch dominate the middle reaches around Stamford, with pike, perch and zander inhabiting the lower lengths around Spalding.

Tributaries of the River Welland:
*Eye Brook
*River Chater
*River Gwash
*River Glen
*River Jordan (through Little Bowden)
*Vernatt's Drain

External links

* [http://fenlandlincs.com/Welland Photographs of Glen and Welland]

ee also

*Rivers of the United Kingdom

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