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02 Feb 2018

Trailblazing new development launches at Slimbridge

Posted in Blog posts

We are excited to announce the start of Slimbridge 2020, an amazing new scheme that will transform Slimbridge Wetland Centre with inspirational and immersive wildlife experiences and celebrate the extraordinary life of Sir Peter Scott, WWT’s founder and one of the world’s pioneering conservationists.

Sir Peter Scott’s house will be opened to the public for the very first time and the Living Wetland Theatre and Aviary will be an innovative open air space to showcase WWT’s work.

In total nine new exhibits will be developed over the next three years:

  • Sir Peter Scott’s house will open to the public for the very first time.
  • A white fronted geese feeding area will allow visitors to feed these fascinating wild birds by hand.
  • The People and Wildfowl exhibit will look at humans’ historical and cultural relationship with wildfowl at three different areas: the Craft Barn, the Barnyard and the Icelandic Elder Farm.
  • Conservation Breeding exhibit will tell the story of the nene, the first bird Sir Peter Scott saved from extinction and WWT’s ongoing conservation work around the world.
  • The Living Wetland Theatre and Aviary will be an innovative flagship development providing 380 seats in an open air space to showcase WWT’s work in the UK and around the world with interactive shows.
  • The Tundra exhibit will give visitors a real insight into the region where Sir Peter Scott’s beloved Bewick’s swans spend the winter.
  • The Berkeley New Decoy, originally built in 1843, will be restored so visitors can see demonstrations of this ancient method of catching ducks with a dog . It’s original purpose was to supply food to the Berkeley Estate but Sir Peter Scott used it to ring birds for research.
  • The Estuary Tower Hide will be a fully accessible tower hide that will give visitors far-reaching views over the Severn and extensive wet grasslands that Scott called the ‘avian Serengeti’.
  • The Severn Estuary – during the summer months we will open up the Summer Walkway to offer visitors a new set of experiences by exploring the natural habitats, species and landscapes of the Severn Estuary. This will also include a thrilling wild safari experience.

The first stage of construction is now underway to enable the creation of the much anticipated new Living Wetland Theatre and Aviary. This will be followed by restoration works of the original Duck Decoy and the construction of the innovative Tundra zone.

The £6 development has been made possible thanks to an investment of £4.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and further support from:

  • Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust
  • Estate of the late Dr Rosemary H McConnell
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Legacy from the late Dr Rosemary H McConnell
  • Olive Herbert Charitable Trust
  • Peter & Myra Woods
  • Tanner Trust
  • The Patron’s Fund

And everyone who supported our 70th Anniversary Appeal and all WWT’s members and visitors.