From pulling birds back from extinction to creating wonderful new nature friendly habitats - the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) today celebrates 75 years.
On Friday 5 November at Cop 26 the UK government announced its intention to establish a new cross-Administration UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership to progress the evidence base on these habitats.
WWT will be at the upcoming United Nations climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow from next week (1st November), flying the flag for wetlands.
WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre has been selected as one of three live locations across the UK to host BBC Two’s popular wildlife programme Autumnwatch. Following on from the huge success of BBC Springwatch earlier this year the watchers will again be coming to the WWT Castle Espie in Northern Ireland. Over the period of the week, starting on 26th October, Gillian Burke, one of four presenters on the show, will shine a spotlight on this area of international wildlife importance here in Northern Ireland. Located on the shores of Strangford Lough, a designated coastal Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), Special Protection area (SPA), Ramsar site, Marine Nature Reserve (MNR), National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Castle Espie Wetland Centre, managed by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), the UK’s leading wetland conservation charity, is home to over 60 acres of pristine wetland habitat filled with a range of wildlife including rare and under threat species. A mixture of tidal lagoon, eel-grass mats, woodland, salt marshes and reed beds offer the perfect habitat for all sorts of wildlife to thrive including a wide variety of water birds such as shelduck and shoveler and waders such as redshank, godwit and plover. Speaking about the arrival of BBC Autumnwatch, Paul Stewart, Centre Manager at Castle Espie Wetland Centre said; “This year was a first for BBC Springwatch in Northern Ireland and WWT Castle Espie and now we’re delighted to welcome the Watches once again for Autunmwatch. Our visitor centre and reserve provides a perfect window on the stunning Strangford Lough and is the ideal base for the show in Northern Ireland. We are thrilled that the international ecological importance of Strangford Lough is recognised and that the BBC have again chosen to host the show live from WWT Castle Espie. Autumn is an enchanting time of year and one of the most beautiful of the seasons. Few things are more awe-inspiring than the return of most of entire planet Earths population of light bellied brent geese from the Canadian High Artic to here on Strangford Lough. From the return of migrating birds, the turning colour of the leaves and the emergence of fungi, autumn is a spectacular time around the nature reserve. As a wetland conservation charity, we work hard to protect, preserve and promote the importance of wetlands and their wildlife in this part of Northern Ireland, so that they can continue to be understood and enjoyed by many in the years to come. Nature-rich wetlands like the ones at Castle Espie can help combat today’s nature, climate, and mental health crises, through their ability to boost biodiversity, store carbon, prevent flooding, clean water and improve people’s wellbeing. We look forward to bringing the sights and sounds of the wetlands and spectacular views across Strangford Lough to viewers’ right across the UK.” BBC Autumnwatch 2021 will be broadcast on BBC 2 from Tuesday 26th October to Friday 29th October
Findings demonstrate restored coastal saltmarsh, created through re-connecting the land to the sea, stores more carbon, faster, than forests
The critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper, which acts as a ‘flagship’ species for the conservation of vital wetlands for migratory waterbirds along the East Asian-Australasian flyway, may yet be pulled back from the brink of extinction thanks part
WWT has welcomed the Nature Positive 2030 report produced by the five UK statutory nature agencies stressing that ambitions for nature recovery should be put on the same footing as those for climate change.
We are extremely sad to hear about the incident involving Sacha Dench and Dan Burton during the Round Britain Climate Challenge with Conservation Without Borders.
WWT invites you to join us as we unite with groups, charities, businesses and individuals across the country in a collaborative effort to raises our concern about climate change as part of the Great Big Green Week (GBGW) which starts today (18 September)
We're joining 20 other nature organisations calling for urgent measures to help lift England’s rivers, lakes and streams from the bottom of the water quality league table, and warn that drastic action is needed to restore wildlife habitat. Every freshwater body in England currently fails chemical standards and only 16% are classed in good ecological health compared to 53% on average in the EU. A new report by Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Blueprint for Water group warns that climate change is worsening conditions for our already beleaguered waters: increased water-use during droughts and damage caused by flooding, both becoming more frequent due to climate change, are compounding the existing problems of overuse and chemical, sewage and plastic pollution for our waters. WWT’s Head of Policy and Advocacy Tom Fewins backed the action and said the Government should adopt wetlands as a “powerful weapon” in the fight to restore our missing wildlife. He added this should include backing WWT’s Wetlands Can! campaign calling for the creation of 100,000 hectares of healthy wetlands across the country. Tom said: “The world faces a biodiversity crisis: in the UK alone, over half of freshwater and wetland species are declining with 13% at risk of extinction. Poor water quality is helping to fuel this and the UK is very likely to miss its targets to address it. “We must urgently turn this situation around – and that should include looking to the ‘nature based solutions’ that wetlands provide. “This includes their amazing ability to improve water quality by filtering out a wide range of pollutants, something WWT has found out over the many years we have been creating ‘treatment’ wetlands specifically for this purpose. With a biodiversity crisis upon us the Government must now adopt wetlands as a powerful weapon in the fight to restore our missing wildlife. This means putting together the partnerships, information, plans and funding in place to create and restore 100,000ha wetlands as part of a Blue Recovery.” The report – called Blueprint Vision: a freshwater recovery plan for England, poses three main challenges for the Government: RESTORE water and wildlife through large-scale, strategic habitat restoration, protecting and enhancing wildlife hotspots. CLEAN-UP pollution with an effective and fully resourced monitoring and enforcement regime, driven by ambitious targets. RE-THINK our relationship with water to build a sustainable system, delivering climate resilience, water security, and health and well-being benefits for our communities. Ali Morse, Water Policy Manager at The Wildlife Trusts, and Chair of Blueprint for Water, said: “Nature and society are already paying the price for the over-use and pollution of our waters and wetlands - wildlife is struggling to survive, our rivers are not safe to swim and play in, and as customers we pay millions to clean up water so that it’s safe to drink. And that price is going to get even steeper as we feel the effects of climate change. “We’re facing a hazardous future of water shortages, flood damage and the loss of iconic species like the water vole and Atlantic salmon in England. We should all be worried that none of our rivers, lakes or streams are in good health and we have among the worst water quality in Europe. It’s time for a new vision for English waters, with adequate investment, robust pollution prevention and sustainable water use.”
Discover the fascinating story of Sir Peter Scott's life and learn about some of his more unusual achievements and passions, from his interest with the Loch Ness monster to the fish that shares his name.
On a bright December morning in 1945 two men watched a large flock of geese feeding on the banks of the river Severn in Gloucestershire. As they watched they noticed that the flock contained several different species of geese.
WWT’s Flourishing Floodplains project has been awarded a £867,600 grant from the Government’s £40 million second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery.
With many families holidaying at home this year, visitors can get a taste of the exotic at WWT Wetland Centres across the UK this summer.
Increasing access to blue spaces in our urban areas should be an integral part of the “levelling up” agenda, according to a new Environment Agency report – one which WWT strongly supports as part of our Wetlands Can! campaign.