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Springwatch at Castle Espie

We’re thrilled to be hosting BBC TWO Springwatch this year, with Gillian Burke bringing you a feast for your senses from the Castle Espie wetland site. Here’s a taster of what to expect.

Spectacular wetlands

Once an industrial limestone quarry, Castle Espie Wetland Centre has transformed into 60 acres of biodiverse wetlands on the edge of Strangford Lough. The wetland site features saltmarsh and tidal lagoons, internationally important eelgrass meadows, wader-filled mudflats, sparkling lakes and mysterious wet woodland.

Spectacular species

At Castle Espie Wetland Centre a wide variety of habitats - from woodland to wildflower meadows and salt marshes - means there’s plenty of space for species including mammals, amphibians, birds and invertebrates to call our wetlands home.

A centre for innovation

As well as being a fantastic refuge for wetland wildlife, the Castle Espie wetland centre incorporates many recycled and reclaimed materials and clean energy systems.

Nature has helped inspire the shape, materials and function of buildings throughout our Visitor Centre. Including a biomass boiler, a wildlife garden and energy systems fuelled by the sun to rainwater harvesting that supplies all washrooms/toilets. There's even a reed bed filtration system for cleaning our wastewater.

"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."

Paul Stewart, WWT Centre Manager

News and stories

Get behind the scenes sneak peeks, the latest sightings and wildlife insights from our reserve experts.