Welney is a small village in Norfolk, on the border with Cambridgeshire.
The parish of Welney covers 2056 hectares (5080 acres). The land is flat and low-lying and the soil is mostly very fertile black peat with some silt. It is part of the area known as Fenlands, or "the Fens" once swampy and eerie with small islands of habitation, but now drained by a complex system of ditches, dykes and rivers.
The area was once the centre of ice-skating in England, and Welney had a world champion and several British ones. Fishing in the River Delph and the Old Bedford River is still very popular, attracting anglers from far and wide. Pike up to 28lbs (13kg), zander, roach, bream, perch and rudd can all be found.The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) reserve in the Ouse Washes north east of Welney village has been the winter home of thousands of swans and ducks from northern Europe and the Arctic for more than 35 years. Over 8,000 Bewick's and Whooper swans now over-winter here, together with thousands of ducks especially Wigeon, Lapwing, Mallard, Pintail, Pochard and Teal, and wading birds such as Plover. The regular floodlit evening swan feeding is a popular and unforgettable sight.
Erected in Main Street just outside the church in 1978, the village sign depicts ice skaters, a windmill draining the land, wildfowl, and the entwined initials 'WM' below the village name. The actions of 'WM' - William Marshall - and also those of the 4th Duke of Bedford and the Dutchman Cornelius Vermuyden, have hugely influenced Welney ever since the middle of the 17th century.
If anybody would like to expand this series please do. I would just ask that you let Smokeypugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.