For the first time, wildlife lovers have the chance to adopt a part of Slimbridge, the wetland centre established by Sir Peter Scott in 1946 and seen as the birthplace of modern conservation.
Naturalist Sir Peter Scott opened Slimbridge to the public with the ambition to make the natural world amazing and appealing to everyone, not just naturalists. He saw that the terrible state of nature was caused by people, and that all people had the power to do something about it.
Adopt a Wetland is WWT’s new way to involve its supporters in wetland conservation.
WWT Slimbridge Reserve Manager Dave Paynter said:
“There’s so much history to pick from at Slimbridge – the plot where Peter Scott first glimpsed the white-fronted geese is still available, but I’m not telling which it is – and there’s so much yet to come. You might pick the spot where cranes nest next summer.
“Or you might want to pick a spot that’s personal. Wildlife watching is fantastic because everyone has a different experience. You may see a kingfisher feed its young, while the person next to you watches a water vole or a grass snake swimming. There must be literally thousands of reasons to adopt any bit of wetland at Slimbridge.”
Wetlands are being damaged and destroyed faster than any other ecosystem, driving many species to extinction. To adopt a wetland costs from just £5 per month and helps WWT to safeguard wetlands and the wildlife that relies on them.
Supporters can choose from over 600 plots from a virtual map and leave an online message or dedication.
The dedication on one wetland plot, named “Mum’s favourite place in the world” reads:
“This is for my mum. She used to love avocets, and it’s in this salt marsh where the avocets breed. And may they continue to thrive!”
Another, named “Tara’s Acre” reads:
“For Tara, a wonderful first grandchild to Jeff and Judy Chandra born 15th November 2012, with much love and hope that she may enjoy and cherish the natural world as much as we do.”
Anyone interested in adopting part of Slimbridge can do so at protect.wwt.org.uk.