London Wetland Centre has been creating space for nature for 23 years. To celebrate our birthday, here’s five things you might not know about us…
1 We were opened by Sir David Attenborough
It’s true, we were opened by the patron saint of nature himself. Sir David called the reserve ‘sensational - an extra lung for Londoners’.
2 We are an entirely human-made wetland
Walking around the reserve, with all its greenery, you wouldn’t guess that we’re actually built on four old Victorian reservoirs. In the 1990s the defunct reservoirs were marked for development but instead, thanks to WWT’s founder Sir Peter Scott, they became a protected space for nature.
3 We are home to the UK’s fastest declining mammal
With over 90% of the UK’s freshwater wetlands destroyed in the past 400 years, water voles have lost almost all of their habitat. We are part of a rewilding programme for these threatened wetland creatures and have a population of about 80 at the reserve.
4 We are a dragonfly paradise
We have over 18 species of dragonflies! From black-tailed skimmers to willow emerald damselflies - to hairy dragonflies to broad-bodied chasers… come and see them in all their metallic, agile, zooming glory!
5 You can visit us for just £6.50
On 20 May we’re celebrating London Wetland Centre’s 23rd birthday by offering entry tickets at our original opening price of just £6.50. They can be bought on the door, on the day, so come on down, treat yourself to a dose of nature, and surround yourself in nature.