From puddle-jumping championships and resident otters to photography competitions and festivals of mud, there’s a huge variety of exciting events taking place at WWT sites across the country
Whether you’re a first time visitor or a seasoned wildlife expert, there’s an activity taking place at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust to suit your interests. Here we take a look at a selection of the most exciting events coming up over the next few months to inspire your next adventure.
And don’t forget, as a Boundless member you can take advantage of unlimited access to all ten WWT sites, plus you can bring a friend plus up to six children completely free of charge. Find out more here: boundless.co.uk/wwt
WWT Arundel, West Sussex
Interested in seeing Arundel’s peaceful wetlands from a new perspective? Look no further than this twenty-minute guided boat trip around the habitats at the site. Tranquil and quiet, this electric boat trip will give you the chance to spot Heron, Peregrines, Kingfishers and many more species on your journey.
Ideal for those who enjoy getting hands-on, this beginners wood carving workshop will enable you to create your very own wooden model of a bird. Tools, paint, protective gear, a roughed out wooden block and expert instruction from experienced wood carvers are all provided.
This winter, bird hides have become hideouts filled with exciting kid-friendly activities. Borrow a set of binoculars or a telescope and hunker down out of sight to spy on some unique bird life up close. Plus make use of the hideout experts on hand to help you identify any species you might not recognise.
WWT Caerlaverock, Dumfries and Galloway
Taking place daily, this swan feed will give visitors the chance to learn about the hundreds of swans, ducks and geese found at WWT Caerlaverock. Commentated by the on-site warden, you’ll get to know their individual characteristics as well as hearing about their incredible annual migration from Iceland to the UK.
Dawn Flight – 22 January, 18 February
Another fascinating way to get up close and personal with the feathered species found at Caerlaverock, this dawn flight will allow spectators the opportunity to witness a spectacular early-morning wildlife event.
If you’re interested in honing your bid-identification skills, this beginners wetland bird ID session is the one for you. You’ll be accompanied by a friendly warden who will help you to identify and record the birds you see on your tour around the wetland habitats of this WWT site.
Open to both amateur and professional photographers, this upcoming competition aims to inspire people to help protect our wetlands through stunning imagery captured at the London Wetland Centre. Visit the site to take striking photographs and enter them into the contest.
One of the most popular activities that takes place at WWT London is pond dipping, and to ensure it is accessible to all visitors, the centre is now running dedicated autism and sensory friendly pond dipping sessions throughout the year. Run during the quietest part of the day, you’ll join the WWT with a net and bucket to find out what creatures live in the water including snails, newts and shrimps.
One of the best places to see bats in London, WWT London Wetland Centre is now hosting special bat walks on Thursdays in April to give you the chance to see these winged creatures up close. Learn more about the seven species of bats that hunt around the site with one of the team’s resident bat experts and even get the chance to hear them ‘chattering’ using electronic bat detectors.
WWT Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
Another fantastic opportunity to get some expert insight into the species found at WWT sites, this Walk with a Warden event will take place at Llanelli Wetlands centre on dates throughout the year. From starling murmurations to feeding plovers, this expert-led excursion is sure to provide a number of sights to remember.
This half term offers something a little different for the whole family to enjoy at Llanelli Wetlands Centre; Mudfest. A festival filled with exciting squelchy activities themed around mud including obstacle courses, muddy tug of war, barefoot trails, muddy nest-making, mud kitchens, mud-slinging and learning about the minibeast that make mud their home.
WWT Martin Mere, Lancashire
Another reason to dust off your wellies, the North West Puddle Jumping Championships are taking place this year between 11 and 19 February at WWT Martin Mere in Lancashire. Guaranteed family friendly fun, this all-ages competition to make the biggest splash is not one you’ll want to miss.
WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire
A unique time of the year to visit, the February tides at WWT Slimbridge offer some fantastic wildlife spectacles worth paying a visit for. Meet a Guide in the Hide at the site’s Estuary Tower and witness thousands of golden plover fill the skies over the hide, look out for hunting birds of prey and pick up hints and tips on how to identify the birds you see.
Led by one of Slimbridge’s experienced wardens, this beginners experience at slimbridge will help you to get to grips with bird identification. Visit each of the hides around the site and learn how to identify the many species of birds found at each.
WWT Washington, Tyne and Wear
To see something a little more exotic, why not pay a visit to WWT Washington and enjoy the brilliant plumage of the resident Chilean flamingos. During one of the daily talks, you’ll get to learn interesting facts about the birds and the innovative solar-powered house where they spend the winter.
Another interesting animal colony worth getting to know at Washington is the cheeky family of resident otters. Taking place each day, the expert volunteers will deliver a fascinating talk about these furry creatures as they forage, feed and swim around their enclosure.
WWT Welney, Norfolk
Taking place on Thursdays throughout February, this walk through the landscape of the Fens in Welney is a great opportunity to spot one of the UK’s rarer mammals, the Hare. Led by an experienced guide, this Hare walk will take you around a part of the site not usually open to the public where these unusual animals can be easily spotted thanks to the short winter vegetation.
One for the early birds, this dawn walk will enable visitors to Welney to enjoy the unique sight of thousands of Bewick's and Whooper swans waking up on the wetlands. Timid by nature, Bewick's swans are the smallest and rarest of the three swan species found in the UK so this early-morning excursion is your best chance to see them up close.
Do more with Boundless
As a Boundless member you can take advantage of unlimited access to all ten WWT sites, and bring a friend plus up to six children completely free of charge. Find out more here: boundless.co.uk/wwt
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