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Castle Espie celebrates the return of its Arctic friends

Posted on 01 Oct 2019

Every year, a phenomenal 25,000 light-bellied brent geese make the gruelling 3000km journey from Arctic Canada and Greenland to their winter home on Strangford Lough.

What could be described as the biggest wildlife spectacular in Northern Ireland is never more celebrated than at WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre on the shores of Strangford Lough, where visitors can enjoy undisturbed viewings of these intriguing geese in their natural habitat.

The annual Big Brent Event at Castle Espie which takes place this year from Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th October has become a celebratory event popular with families and wildlife enthusiasts alike, each hoping to get closer to the geese and to learn more about what makes them come here.

Speaking about the significance of the event, Paul Stewart, Centre Manager at WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre said; “Every year we welcome an incredible 75% of the world’s population of light-bellied brent geese here to Strangford Lough, where they restore their energy levels after their annual trek through some of the world’s most hostile climates.”

“As a wetland on the shores of Strangford Lough, Castle Espie offers a very safe and natural environment onto which many of the brent geese will venture. For those wishing to get closer to these remarkable birds, our many nature trails and Brent Discovery Hide offer the perfect place to watch and listen to their movements.”

“Throughout the weekend we will have a selection of activities on offer for everyone. There will be face painting, brent goose craft, “Family Guide in the Hide”, Mini Explorers Sensory Sessions and our newly introduced “Incredible Journey Trail”, as well as expert bird watching sessions with the Reserve Team and art sessions with Bernice Anderson.”

For further information about our events and facilities, please visit our website or contact the Centre at 028 9187 4146.

Mini Explorers Session are suitable for children aged 1-7. As part of the experience children will become an artic explorer and experience the migration journey of the brent geese through a combination of sounds, lights and bubbles. Pre booking is essential via the Centre on 028 9187 4146.