River Great Ouse

River Great Ouse

Infobox River | river_name = River Great Ouse

caption = The River Great Ouse after Brownshill Staunch, near Over
origin = near Syresham in Northamptonshire
mouth = King's Lynn
basin_countries = England
length = 240 km (150 miles)
elevation = 115 m (380 feet)
discharge =
watershed =
The River Great Ouse is a river in the east of England. It is 150 miles (240 km) long which makes it the major navigation in East Anglia, and the fourth-longest river in the United Kingdom. The lower reaches of the Great Ouse are also known as "Old West River" and "the Ely Ouse". The name "Ouse" is from the Celtic or pre-Celtic *"Udso-s" [Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch:entry 9] , and probably means simply "water". [ Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names (2003) ]

The river has several sources close to the villages of Syresham and Sulgrave in Northamptonshire. It flows through Brackley, Buckingham, Milton Keynes at Stony Stratford, Newport Pagnell, Olney, Bedford, St Neots, Godmanchester, Huntingdon, Hemingford Grey, St Ives, the cathedral city of Ely, Littleport, Downham Market and enters The Wash at King's Lynn.

The Environment Agency is the navigation authority and it attempts to attract more boaters to the river.

The Ouse Washes are an internationally important area for wildlife.


Tributaries of the River Great Ouse: (upstream [source] to downstream by confluence)
* River Tove
* River Ouzel (or Lovat)
* River Ivel
* River Kym
* River Cam
* River Lark
* River Little Ouse
* Wissey
* Old Bedford River
* New Bedford River (also known as Hundred Foot Drain)
* River Babingley
* Gaywood River


In 1944 the annual boat race between the Oxford and Cambridge universities took place on this river, between Littleport and Queen Adelaide, the only time that it has not been held on the Thames; it was won by Oxford. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/cambridgeshire/out_about/2004/02/historic_boat_race.shtml|title=Celebrate the 1944 University Boat Race!|publisher=BBC|date=February 2004]

The Great Ouse is now used by CUBC, CUWBC and CULRC for training.

ee also

*The Ouse Valley Way (Long distance footpath along the Ouse)
*RSPB Ouse Washes (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserve)
*WWT Welney (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve)
*Rivers of the United Kingdom
*The Boat Race


External links

* [http://www.jim-shead.com/waterways/River-Great-Ouse.html Useful information on the river from Jim Shead]
* [http://www.fenlandlincs.com/GreatOuse Drainage and Rivers of Fens]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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