The Fenland Wildfowlers Association was formed on October 15th 1952 at the Angel Hotel in Wisbech by a group of active and knowledgeable wildfowlers and since then has controlled the shooting on the foreshore between the rivers Nene and Great Ouse.
At this time it was clear that increasing populations with increasing mobility were putting greater pressure on our wetlands. Clubs like the Fenland WA were needed to provide a degree of management.
Pre-eminent among the founders was the late Fred Pearson BEM, who for many years was the Chairman and later President, and who guided the Fenland Wildfowlers Association to become one of the best known and most professional clubs in the country.
Fenland WA members have the rights to shoot over the tidal marshes on the Wash coast between the rivers Nene and the Great Ouse (circa 9 miles under lease from the Crown Estate) and on some 200 acres of the intermittently flooded Hundred Foot or Ouse Washes (owned by the Fenland WA, some of it in partnership with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust).
The club's badge depicts the East Lighthouse at Sutton Bridge superimposed upon a map of the Wash. The Lighthouse, lived in by Sir Peter Scott before the Second World War, was leased by the FWA for ten years from l964 to 1974. During that time it was occupied by a series of wardens appointed by the club.
- 1952 - club founded at Angel Hotel, Wisbech Cambridgeshire.
- 1954 - first club to lease and control shooting rights on the Wash from the Norfolk Estuary Company.
- 1960 - Crown Estate grants foreshore lease. 1964 - lease of East Lighthouse for FWA warden.
- 1969 - first club to purchase land on Ouse Washes.
- 1970s - Washes land acquisition continues and Brandon game syndicate run jointly with Norwich WA.
- 1980 - Crown Estate grants 21-year foreshore lease. First reserve areas set aside on foreshore.
- 1985 - joint purchase with Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust of washland and shooting rights.
- 1991 - first club to make purchase of Wildlife Habitat Trust Stamp ("duck stamp") a condition of membership.
- 1992 - first club to host National Wildfowling Conference, jointly with Kings Lynn WA.
- 1992 - 40th anniversary limited edition print published.
- 1995 - launch of FWA promotional booklet,"Wildfowling on the Wash and in the Fens".
- 1996 - club exhibits at the CLA Game Fair for the first time.
- 1997- SSSI Award from English Nature for management of Wash Outer Trial Bank Seabird Breeding Reserve.
- 1998 - award of BASC Stanley Duncan Trophy for conservation work on both the Wash and the Ouse Washes.
- 2000 - website set up: co-hosts of 2000 Wildfowling Conference.
- 2001 - co-hosts of first East Coast regional Wildfowling Conference.
- 2003 - Fiftieth Anniversary Dinner.
- 2005 - Launch of the DVD film “FWA - The First Fifty Years”.
- 2005 - Denny’s Wash purchased (17 acres at Little Downham).
- 2009 - Green’s Wash purchased (24 acres at Sutton Gault).
- 2011 - Foreshore Code of Practice booklet produced.
- 2011 - Spinney Wash purchased (small wash adjacentto Green's).
- 2012 - Sixtieth Anniversary Dinner.
The Fenland WA membership of nearly 350 includes people of all ages, and of every financial status. They are bound together by a love of wild places and hunting in them.
Within the Association there is a game-shooting syndicate of 1000 acres of farmland at Terrington and Newton, which has been in existence since 1954.
The 'Fenland Wildfowler' is our club newsletter, sent out to members every three months or so throughout the year.