Get outside and closer to spring wildlife. We promise you’ll feel renewed and refreshed by the vibrant energy of our wetlands at this time of year.
The first sunny days of the year are nature’s way of beckoning us outside. And who can resist? Plus, it’s the perfect excuse for a day out at one of our wetland sites. You’ll notice the colours are brighter and the wildlife louder as spring progresses and with each visit there’ll be new things to see, another clump of bluebells, a blossom tree in full bloom, more baby ducklings, or a new feathered arrival to tick off your list. You’ll start to hear the buzz of insects, perhaps an early bumble bee? Escaping into nature is one of the best ways to put a spring in your step, clear your head and feel energised. All our centres are fully accessible, so connecting with the hope and promise that nature has to offer has never been easier.
The dawn chorus at this time of year is so deafening you don’t need an alarm clock. Although the early morning cheeping and twittering is lovely to listen to, it’s more about defending territory and raising chicks than pretty bird song. The morning birdsong you hear is usually males. The loudest singers are considered to be the strongest by the listening females because it shows them to be fit and healthy. If you listen carefully you’ll probably notice a sequence. The earliest risers are often the skylarks, song thrushes, robins and blackbirds with wrens and warblers joining in a little later, when their food sources (insects) are out and about. If you’d like to discover more about the dawn chorus join one of the special events being held at some of our centres. WWT Llanelli, WWT London, WWT Slimbridge and WWT Welney.
Visit one of our wetland centres at this time of year and you’ll be treated to a beautiful display of native flowers. From the ones you’ll see everywhere like bluebells and daffodils to those that are specialists to wetlands and will only bloom in these special places. Plants like the marsh marigold - the daffodil of the water - which blooms from March to May in damp soils from woodland streams to large open wetlands. In wet woodlands, birch trees are producing their catkins and the cuckoo flower is getting ready to open its petals. It’s also a great time to see orchids, irises and snake’s head fritillaries, as well as many other wildflowers coming into bloom in our sustainable gardens.
Our wetland centres are designed to bring you closer to nature than you’ve ever been. Bring the kids along and start them on the path to a lifetime of connection with the natural world. Let them get their hands dirty identifying plants, enjoy their wide-eyed wonder as they come face to face with a newt or a frog whilst pond dipping. Try our canoe and boat safaris (at Arundel, Martin Mere and Slimbridge) and have a little adventure of your own, keeping an eye out for kingfishers and water voles along the way. Then grab a ‘case file’ logging evidence on our Duck Detectives trail, discovering all about wetland wildlife as you go.
There’s so much going on in the natural world at this time of year, from an explosion in bird song, to interesting animal behaviours and new arrivals on our reserves, so it’s a great time to make the most of the expertise we have readily available at our sites. Join a Walk with a warden at WWT Llanelli, try one of our birdwatching mornings at WWT Castle Espie, or get yourself to WWT Slimbridge to enjoy one of the new VIP experiences. As well as experiencing the beauty of these special places, you’ll discover there’s much more to wetlands than meets the eye.
Make the most of the longer days of spring by visiting one of our sites at dusk to explore some of the nocturnal wildlife you can find on a wetland. Bat & barn owl evenings at WWT Welney are a treat not to be missed. Experiencing these magical creatures against the beauty of a wetland at sunset is a true wildlife spectacle. Our bat walks at WWT London Wetland Centre are always popular. With seven species of bat known to live on the reserve it’s one of the best places to watch bats in London.
Find your nearest wetland centre and let the wonder of wetlands wash over you this springPlan your visit