Join us on Sunday 2nd February to celebrate World Wetlands Day! Established in 1997 to raise awareness of the benefits of wetlands to people and the planet, World Wetlands Day celebrates what WWT is all about - protecting wetlands for the benefit of all.
London Wetland Centre opened in 2000 bringing to life WWT’s founder Sir Peter’s Scott’s vision of an urban wetland that brings nature to the people. A passionate advocate for nature and a firm believer that we will not protect what we have not experienced, Sir Peter Scott recognised the need to connect city dwellers with wetland wildlife.
Wetlands have a variety of positive impacts for people and wildlife. Recent studies have demonstrated that wetlands are good for wellbeing, reducing levels of stress and anxiety. Green spaces have long been considered desirable in urban environments but studies have shown that blue spaces, natural spaces containing water, have a more powerful effect on wellbeing than green spaces alone. Read more here.
As well as providing restorative health benefits for people, wetlands are enormously biodiverse habitats supporting a huge range of species. Over 40% of the world’s species are dependent on freshwater wetlands yet they cover just 1% of the world’s surface. At London Wetland Centre we support nationally significant overwintering populations of duck species including gadwall and shoveler. A diverse range of species also breed on site from slow worms to reed warblers.
Wetlands are also vital in the fight against climate change, storing more carbon than all the world’s forests combined, as well as being crucial for flood prevention, storm protection and water filtration. Read more about wetlands and climate change here.
What’s on that day?
On World Wetlands Day, alongside our usual daily activities, we will be running a range of talks showcasing WWT’s conservation work as well as some of the species we have here on site. A special ’70 years of Wetland Conservation’ talk will run at 12pm and 3pm highlighting conservation work WWT has undertaken around the world. There will also be spotlight talks on our Red-breasted Geese, Magpie Geese and Eider ducks. All of these species depend on wetlands for their survival and can be found in our living collection.
For families, our learning team will be running a ‘Build a Mini Wetland Village’ workshop (3pm), a fun and creative way to teach children how wetlands help to protect against flooding. Kids can also learn about wetlands and water sustainability through interactive games in our indoor ‘Discovery Centre’ play area.
Join us to celebrate wetlands and discover the many benefits of this wonderful habitat for yourself.
Full details of the day here.