Welland Valley Partnership
About The Welland Basin
Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire
The river Welland is a small, but in parts beautiful, river in Eastern England, forming much of the county boundaries between Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire.
It rises at Sibbertoft, a village west of Market Harborough, then flows eastwards through that town, creating a broad, flat valley before entering Stamford and from there the fens. It flows through Spalding as a tidal river that joins the Wash Estuary at Fosdyke.
It collects water along its course from tributaries flowing from the North, but very little from the south. The most important of these are the Gwash, which holds Rutland Water and the Glen draining south-west Lincolnshire.
The natural character of the lower river was lost centuries ago when the Cambridgeshire/Lincoln Fens were drained for agriculture and that of most of its middle reaches destroyed in the 1960s by an excessively-robust land drainage engineering scheme which widened, straightened and lowered the river bed to enable the floodplain to be converted to intensive agriculture, as had most of the sloping land already. The re-creation of naturalness and the re-connection of water, people and nature has begun in the Welland, as it has in many parts of Britain. The middle Welland is the only place in the country where one might see both English osprey and red kite wheeling in the skies at the same time, as a result of successful re-introductions at different parts of the catchment.
Further information about the Welland can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Welland