WWT Martin Mere

Come along for a great day out at the annual North West Bird
Watching Festival: Sat 18 - Sun 19 November


Mornings on our beautiful wetland reserve are magical, so why not come along and view the wildlife as the day begins? The reserve will be open from 8am. When you’ve worked up an appetite come and get your full English breakfast from the café, open at 9am.

A walk on the wild side

9am. (1.5hrs)

Take a walk with Tom Clare our reserve manager. Tom will show you all the best spots on the reserve and introduce you to our most interesting birds and wetland animals. He’ll also explain how we manage their wetland habitat for them. There are limited spaces available so please pre-book on 01704 895181.

Walk with Nick Baker

Saturday 18 November at 11am (1.5hrs)

£5 per person

Take a walk along the nature trail with TV wildlife presenter Nick Baker. Nick’s passion for wildlife has taken him to some of the wildest parts of the planet in search of weird, bizarre and incredible creatures. Join him today and who knows what you might spot on your walk around Martin Mere? There are limited numbers, to pre-book call 01704 895181.

Meet and greet Doug Allan

12 noon – 1pm: Discovery Hide

Sunday 19 November

Sir David Attenborough commented “Wildlife cameramen don’t come much more special than Doug”. In his 30 year filming career, he was principal cameraman on many prestigious award-winning series including Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants, Planet Earth and Life in the Freezer. Ask Doug questions and get advice on videoing wildlife in this drop in session.

Digi-scoping and the 4K future seminar

12 noon & 3pm (45-minutes)

Join award winning photographer, Pro Lumix Ambassador and one of the best known digi-scopers in the birding world Paul Hackett, for a seminar packed with top tips and practical advice on how to get the most out of your photography.  20 places available per session, to pre-book call 01704 895181.

Otter feeds

11.30am & 2.30pm. (20 minutes)

Come and watch the otters feed and learn more about how we care for these amazing animals. Our cute little critters are very photogenic so make sure you bring your camera with you.

White stork feeds

2pm. (20 minutes)

Come and see our newest arrivals, the white storks, as they are fed at 2pm and hear a talk to learn all about the species and why they are linked to delivering babies.

Swan feeds

Discovery Hide 3pm & Raines Observatory 3.30pm

Every winter around 2,000 whooper swans arrive on the wetlands at Martin Mere. It’s a true nature spectacle right on your doorstep so why not join us at feeding time and see it for yourself. Our rangers will tell you all about the swan’s migration from Iceland, what they like to eat and why Martin Mere is the perfect wintering spot.


Bird ringing

9 – 12.30pm

A rare opportunity to get close to some of our most interesting birds. Brian Hopkins, an expert ringer both here and internationally, will demonstrate how the ringing is done and explain why it is such important work. Get your cameras ready for some great close ups.

How many birds can you spot?

Saturday 18 November 9.30-3pm

Team up for some fun with like-minded pals or challenge your own birdwatching skills in our competition. It’s free to enter and collect your entry form on arrival. Join us individually or as a team of up to four. Make sure we have your spotter sheet by 3pm. Then come and find out who our prize birder is at 3.45pm in the foyer.

Floodlit swan spectacle

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 November 5-6pm

Come and see one of the world’s true nature spectacles in the cosy comfort of our Raines Observatory. Our reserve team will tell you all about the thousands of wild whooper swans that gather on the mere every night to feed.

The event costs £2 per person. Please call 01704 895181 to book your place.


All of our talks take place in the lecture theatre. There are limited places so please collect a ticket when you arrive to confirm your place for the free talks.  £3 is payable for Nick Baker and Doug Allan talk - this can be booked in advance by calling 01704 891220.  All other talks are collection on the day only.

Saturday 18 November

A Talk on the Wildside

Tony & Carol Dilger, wildlife photographers

Two small cameras versus Africa's 'Big Five’. Wildlife photographers Tony & Carol Dilger take on the challenge of photographing some of the most iconic species on the planet. Intriguing stories and breath-taking images from the heart of the African bush reveal why the Dark Continent is "no place for sissies”.

The Phantom of the Forest

Conor Jameson, RSPB

Connor is the author of Silent Spring Revisited, Shrewdunnit and Looking for the Goshawk. He discusses the sequence of events that led to him writing his acclaimed book Looking for the Goshawk, some of the people he met and the places he visited as he seeks to understand 'the phantom of the forest'. He describes how the lost raptor went missing from our landscape, and our imaginations, and the work that's being done to help it come back.

The Life of a Wildlife Presenter

TV Presenter Nick Baker

**£3 per person to attend talk**

When it comes to presenting wildlife Nick Baker is the total package – an edgy, exciting TV presenter with a passion for his subject. Come and hear Nick talk about his work hosting BBC’s Autumnwatch Unsprung and Springwatch Unsprung and filming his recent 3D special Nick Baker’s Beautiful Freaks, broadcast recently on Discovery and Sky.

Burning Bright

Ken Clarke, Wolfshead Photographic

The trials and tribulations of photographing Tigers in Rajasthan, India.  This talk looks at both the practicalities of planning a trip and the fun and games you might experience along the way.  Join natural history photographer, Ken Clark, with his 25 years of experience and catch a glimpse of one of The worlds most spectacular creatures.


Sunday 19 November

Flight of the Swans

Sacha Dench, WWT

Many of you will have followed the amazing achievement that was Flight of the Swans last year - seeing Sacha fly 7,000 km through 11 countries by paramotor. WWT's daring bid to fly with one of nature’s great migrations on a quest to save Bewick’s swans.  Hear first hand from Sacha what it was like to undertake this mission and how it has helped the Bewick swan.

Banksy of the Bird World

Matt Sewell


Matt, who has been described as "the Banksy of the bird world," is an avid ornithologist and artist. He is the author of Owls, Our Garden Birds, Our Woodland Birds, Our Songbirds, and Penguins and Other Seabirds and has illustrated for the Guardian and Big Issue among many other publications. Listen to Matt as he talks about his love of birds, books and illustrations.

Wild Images, Wild Life

Doug Allan

**£3 per person to attend this talk**

Wildlife cameramen don’t come much more special than Doug Allan: Sir David Attenborough

Adventures, encounters and insights from the cameraman whose TV credits include Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet, Frozen Planet and Ocean Giants.  With stories from behind the scenes, and pictures that appeal to all ages, Doug takes you up close and personal with the birds and animals that live in the wildest places on earth.

Come and join Doug for this fascinating presentation, when he’ll describe his first experiences overwintering with Adelie penguins and snow petrels while working for the British Antarctic Survey, a life changing chance meeting with David Attenborough, diving guillemots and a scary walrus among the ice floes of the Arctic, Emperors escaping leopard seals, the challenge of polar climate change.

Doug’s photographic awards include eight Emmy’s and four BAFTA’s. He has twice won the underwater category in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and has four Honorary Doctorates in recognition of his camerawork, as well as two Polar Medals.

Doug’s book will have copies of his book for sale: Freeze Frame – a Wildlife Cameraman’s Adventures on Ice: £25

Burning Bright

Ken Clarke, Wolfshead Photographic

The trials and tribulations of photographing Tigers in Rajasthan, India.  This talk looks at both the practicalities of planning a trip and the fun and games you might experience along the way.  Join natural history photographer, Ken Clark, with his 25 years of experience and catch a glimpse of one of The worlds most spectacular creatures.


Artist Susan Lambourne
Birding Languedoc
Bird Watching and Wildlife Club
Bolton & Bury Swift Conservation
David Finney: Artist
Experience Nature Ltd - Ashley Grove
Garrick Books
Hawke Optics UK
In focus - binocular and telescope specialists
Kowa Optimed
Lancashire Badger Group

Lancashire and Cheshire Fauna Society
Northwest Ecological Trust
Ribble Bird Tours
Second Nature
Speyside Wildlife
The Preston Society
Wader Quest
Wild Sounds & Books
Wildlife Tours and Education
Winnick Books
Wolfshead Photographic