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Celebrating WWT’s volunteers

Celebrating WWT’s volunteers

At WWT we really couldn’t operate without our volunteers.

Celebrating success at the People's Postcode Lottery Charity Gala 2022

Celebrating success at the People's Postcode Lottery Charity Gala 2022

WWT was thrilled to return to the first People's Postcode Lottery Charity Gala in Edinburgh since 2019, celebrating all that has been achieved by thousands of charities thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

A prescription for loneliness

A prescription for loneliness

Loneliness is at an all-time high. What part can our blue spaces play in providing a solution to this invisible epidemic?

The magic of wetland nature

The magic of wetland nature

It’s been a long winter but suddenly the world is bursting with birdsong and blossom. Nature is pushing forward, waking from its long sleep and embracing the longer days. Maybe it’s time for us to do the same? Our blue spaces have an extra special draw f

Migration record breakers

Migration record breakers

Bird migration is a death-defying feat, but some birds have turned this yearly event into something of an extreme sport. Here are just some of the species pushing the limits of what’s possible while migrating from their wintering to breeding grounds and back. Furthest without stopping

World Curlew Day - guest blog by Mary Colwell

World Curlew Day - guest blog by Mary Colwell

World Curlew Day on April 21 shines a spotlight on curlews around the world, it bangs the drum for them and raises awareness about their plight. It is a day to hoist the curlew flag up the flag pole and shout about them - and they need it.

Surviving winter: How we give wildlife a spring start

Surviving winter: How we give wildlife a spring start

As our overwintering birds get ready to fly back to their breeding grounds, or start to pair up and build their own nests, we take a look at some of the ways our reserve team have kept them safe and healthy over winter, to give them the best chance of br

Five quacktastic tips for Easter fun with a difference

Five quacktastic tips for Easter fun with a difference

Easter holidays often mean one thing…. Easter egg hunts! Why not think outside the (egg!) box this year and enjoy our Easter Duck Trail. We know you’ll go quackers for this Easter hunt with a difference!

Noticing nature: Eight practical exercises you can try to improve your mood

Noticing nature: Eight practical exercises you can try to improve your mood

Mindfulness is a way to help yourself be more present, intentionally aware of everything going on around you. These short practices are to help you take a step back from your own thoughts and focus on the world around you in wetlands.

How to build a nest box for birds

How to build a nest box for birds

With natural nesting sites in decline, why not give a helping hand to your local birds by making your own nest box and putting it up in your garden. It can make all the difference and you’ll be rewarded by lots of happy birds. And don’t worry, birds don’t need a perfect nest box. As long as it’s secure, weatherproof and safe from predators, they’ll be happy. So, with spring around the corner and the nesting season soon upon us, why not give it a go? It’s not difficult and we’ve made this handy video to show you how….. Or if you can't get round to making your own, then please have a browse of our WWT nest box range: Eye catching nesters There are never enough nesting boxes to go around at this time of year, so why not brighten up your garden with these colourful additions. Handmade in Bangladesh using natural seagrass and recycled saris, each one is unique. Plus, your purchase will be helping not only your local wildlife, but the local artisan communities that make them as well. Browse nest boxes Fabulous feeders Feeding our garden birds is one of life’s simple pleasures and we’ve got a fantastic selection of feeders for you to choose from. Whether it’s for a robin or a blue tit, a goldfinch or chaffinch, we’ve got the perfect feeders for your feathered friends. Browse feeders Flavoursome food From fat balls to suet mixes, wild seeds to mealworm feasts, we’ve got everything your garden birds could want. And by supplementing their wild diet you’ll be giving them the best possible start to the breeding season. Browse bird food

5 splashtastic tips for family fun this February half term

5 splashtastic tips for family fun this February half term

Wet weather can only mean one thing, it’s time to find the biggest puddle you can and jump right in! So grab your wellies, get outside and jump into nature - whatever the weather.

Family-friendly make-it activities to help birds at home

Family-friendly make-it activities to help birds at home

Birds flock to our wetlands in great numbers, which is why nature-loving families come from far and wide to see them, often at the request of a young nature enthusiast.

Small changes for the New Year for a healthier life and a healthier planet

Small changes for the New Year for a healthier life and a healthier planet

How many times have you promised to make a New Year’s resolution, only to falter within the first few days? This year, why not make it easy for yourself and choose something you feel passionate about instead? That way you’re guaranteed to feel better about yourself and about the world. Plus, you’re more likely to stick to it as well. To help you get started we’ve pulled together some great wetland themed ideas: 1. Head to a wetland and beat the winter blues January can be tough on our mental health. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of staying warm and cosy indoors. Yet even in the depths of winter, nature is beckoning us with its healing powers. As the temperature drops, wetlands come to life with over-wintering birds. Combine a sprinkling of frost with low winter sunlight and you’ll quickly discover a magical winter wonderland. So visit a wetland near you and experience the special healing beauty of our magical winter wildlife first hand. 2. Create your own wetland oasis of tranquillity Adding a wetland to a garden is a tried and tested stress-buster. The act of creating a wetland is a great way to tune into the current moment, get physically active and breathe in the fresh air. This time of year is before the breeding season kicks off and when wildlife is most in need of food and water. With 83% of freshwater species in decline worldwide, every little helps. So why not use these quieter gardening months to plan and build a watery space where you can wind down, lose your worries and find calm. 3. Make a world of difference: add your voice to our call for more wetlands Wetlands aren’t just good for us, they’re good for the planet too, locking away carbon and helping combat climate change. New research carried out at WWT Steart show its saltmarshes stored as much carbon over four years as just over one million new trees grown in ten years. This year, help fight climate change by joining our Wetlands Can! campaign and pledge your support for the creation of 100,000 hectares of healthy wetlands. 4. Inspire the next generation of conservationists The key to protecting our planet’s future lies in encouraging the next generation to value and care for the natural world now. Help nurture your children’s curiosity and love of nature with our tailor-made resources that’ll encourage them to get outside and have fun in wetlands. Together we can be the inspiration for them to want to protect nature and dream of a brighter future for the planet. 5. Make a difference with a small change to your life We know huge changes are needed to address the climate and biodiversity crisis, but there are also small things we can all do to keep our wetlands and wildlife healthy. The products we buy and the day-to-day decisions we make may feel insignificant, but they send a message to companies that we want more sustainable options. Even something as small as being mindful about what you put down your sink can send a powerful message and make an impact. 6. Stay curious and learn something new Challenge yourself to find out something new about your favourite wetland places. There’s plenty of evidence that embracing something new is a great way to keep our minds fit and active, which in turn keeps us happier, healthier and smarter. From learning the sounds of wetland birds to discovering how a place changes with the new season, there’s always a new experience to be had when exploring wetlands. Learn about our wonderful wetlands and why we need them now more than ever. Make a promise for life, not just this year Treat yourself or a loved one to a lifelong membership and help create a brighter future for wetlands and their wildlife. Your unswerving support helps us plan and commit to the essential long-term work we need to do to save wetlands and the threatened species that rely on them. Join for life

Restoring a flooded forest one seedling at a time

Restoring a flooded forest one seedling at a time

Cambodia is known as the kingdom of wetlands. Its seasonally flooded labyrinth of rivers, swamps and islands supports an extraordinary array of wildlife. Its waterways also provide a lifeline for millions, offering a place for people to live, work, travel and trade. These villagers are using them to transport a valuable cargo of hundreds of tiny tree seedlings to their new home as part of a reforestation project being run by WWT. Their destination is Boeung Prek Lapouv, one of the largest remnants of seasonally inundated grasslands in the Lower Mekong Delta. It’s a Protected Landscape – a biological treasure trove, renowned for its many rare birds, including bengal floricans, the sarus crane and the yellow-breasted bunting that come here to forage in the grasslands. The flooded forest is also an important part of the ecosystem, providing valuable fish nurseries and carbon storage. But all is not well in this wetland paradise. The grasslands are under threat and only a fraction of the original flooded forest remains. They’re being drained for rice production, illegally encroached and poisoned by the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The climate here is also changing putting even more pressure on this fragile ecosystem. Higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and an increased risk of water shortages from droughts are all playing their part. Now, local communities are working to turn the tide. With help from WWT they’ve established a permanent community-run tree nursery where they’ve collected 1,600 tree seedlings. Six different species of native inundated forest trees were carefully nurtured in the nursery before being planted in a former area of flooded forest known to have been a popular waterbird roost. It’s hoped this project, to create a five hectare area of flooded forest, can be used as a pilot for future planting schemes. In addition to creating valuable flooded forest, WWT and their community partners in Cambodia have also been restoring 25 hectares of grassland in the area. We started by blocking off 24 unused ditches. This has helped reduce the water loss from the grassland and also helped raised groundwater levels. We have also created wetter conditions by lowering the ground in areas of poor quality grassland in order to encourage the sedge-like grass species Eleocharis, the main food item of sarus crane, to establish. In addition, we impounded (built an earth structure around) an eight hectare area of grassland so that water can be retained for longer here at the end of the wet season. We also ploughed a small section to investigate how this would affect grassland plant regeneration. Aerial photograph showing the area enhanced by ground lowering (foreground), surrounded by the impound, and area ploughed for investigation (background) The restored grassland areas will now be monitored for two to three years to assess how effective the restoration has been. This project has taught us a lot in terms of practical wetland restoration knowledge and has brought multiple benefits to future restoration works at the site and also across the region. The grassland and forest restoration is helping to repair the ecosystem, benefiting both biodiversity and the local communities. The techniques and methods used, our successes and lessons learnt, will be shared with other conservation managers across the region, so they can hopefully carry out similar restoration work.

Tutorial: How to make a natural Christmas willow wreath

Tutorial: How to make a natural Christmas willow wreath

Making a wreath base from bendy willow sticks may look complicated, but it’s actually really easy and a wonderful way to decorate your home festively and naturally.