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11 Jul 2017

Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers at UK Wetland Centres this summer

Posted in Latest news

Children of all ages can join Dusty Duck, pick up their very own log book and become real-life wildlife rangers at WWT Wetland Centres across the UK this summer holiday.

A full day of discovery and adventure awaits families with a wide variety of wildlife ranger activities being held at our nine UK centres including:

  • Wetland camp survival – learn outdoor survival skills with our expert wetland rangers, with everything from den building to whittling and starting fires without matches
  • Ranger training – track animals and learn how to be a ranger by going on an expert-led mini safari on our wild reserves
  • Wildlife recording – follow the 4 essential W’s (what, where, when and who) of wildlife recording like a professional ranger
  • Tribal Tracks – join our tribe at our wetland tepees. Make natural headdresses and follow footprints and other clues to track a mystery animal
  • Geocache trails – find secret locations around our reserve
  • Make your own wildlife movie – become a nature documentary maker and film your own wildlife movie and enter it into our competition
  • Canoe safaris – paddle through beautiful waterways and come face to face with kingfishers, water voles, dragonflies and other wetland wonders
  • Mini raft building – make your own raft from wetland materials and see how long it will float
  • Pond exploring – discover what lies beneath the waters of a pond? Grab a net and find out!
  • …and lots, lots more

Children can write about, draw and record their findings and experiences in their log books, just like our rangers do, as a permanent reminder of their wild day out.

Activities vary between centres, click on wwt.org.uk/wildliferangers for details of all the Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers activities taking place at each of our Wetland Centres and do something a little bit different this summer holiday.


Scott Petrek, one of WWT’s real life wildlife rangers said:

“I love being a wildlife ranger for WWT and helping to care for and protect our amazing wetland animals. We thought families would welcome the chance to experience what it’s like to be a ranger through a series of fun-packed, mini adventures, including activities that I do as part of my day to day job. Hopefully, we’ll also inspire some of our younger visitors to become the wildlife rangers of the future, helping to create a world where healthy wetland nature thrives and enriches lives.”

As well as Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers, WWT Wetland Centres also have a range of other family activities during the summer holidays, including our amazing giant LEGO® brick animal trail (at
WWT Caerlaverock, Scotland and WWT Welney, Norfolk), the Celebrity Dusty Duck trail (at WWT Castle Espie, Northern Ireland), and Giant Top Trumps (at WWT Martin Mere, Lancashire). For a full range of summer holiday activities at your nearest WWT Wetland Centre click here: wwt.org.uk/visit

We have nine WWT Wetland Centres across the UK at Arundel (Hampshire), Caerlaverock (nr Dumfries, Scotland), Castle Espie (County Down, Northern Ireland), Llanelli (Carmarthenshire, Wales), London (at Barnes), Martin Mere (Lancashire), Slimbridge (Gloucestershire), Washington (Tyne & Wear) and Welney (Norfolk).

WWT Wetland Centres

A whole new world of award-winning discovery awaits you at our WWT Wetland Centres. You can get close to amazing wildlife, such as otters and flamingos, take exciting boat safaris through water meadows and reeds, hand feed exotic birds and see some of the world’s most dramatic and rare birds all in one place. Added to this are exhilarating adventure playgrounds, special events, waterside cafes serving delicious homemade food and shops with unique gifts.

All WWT Wetland Centres are fully accessible with buggy and wheelchair friendly pathways, comfortable hides and disabled and parent & baby facilities.

  • Mary Heath

    Why do you have to have those dreadful caricature (ducks?!) spread around Castle Espie. You are supposed to be encouraging outdoors and interest in real wild life; why do you have to present these cartoon characters. You are not going to interest children in wild life with a few plastic ducks. They will either be interested or not. Have a Club of course, call them rangers, but why this awful “Dusty” monstrosity and then spread them all around a beautiful site like Castle Espie. I despair and hope that they will soon be removed and that your obviously too young juvenile marketing department can learn that you are not an “Amusement Park” but a conservation area

    • WWT

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The Dusty Duck character has been really successful in getting families who hadn’t been to one of our centres before to visit. So many children have been introduced to wetlands and their wildlife as a result of the Dusty Duck character. We’ve also conducted research which showed that over 90% of adult (parents and non-parent) visitors agreed that the character ‘is an imaginative way to engage children with nature’. The statue trail will be moving on from Castle Espie at the end of the school holidays and will be installed at one of our other wetland centres. Sorry if the character isn’t your thing, but please be assured that it exists only to get more children close to nature, to help them start to care about it, and to nurture the conservationists of the future.