North West Bird Watching Festival Returns

A wildlife-filled weekend will be on offer at the North West Bird Watching Festival at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s Martin Mere reserve, with everything from photography workshops, guided walks, bird ringing and guests speakers to a rare chance to watch the breathtaking spectacle of thousands of geese flying coming in to roost.

The popular event, which returns this year bigger and better than ever, will be held over the weekend of Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 October at WWT Martin Mere near Burscough.

Louise Clewley, Reserve Manager at WWT Martin Mere, said: “We’ll be opening at 8am on Saturday and Sunday and closing at 7pm on Saturday for the chance for visitors to the fair to witness the spectacle of tens of thousands of pink-footed geese leaving and returning to roost on the mere.

“This is an extraordinary sight for everyone to experience - whether you’re a bird enthusiast, expert, or complete beginner. I have witnessed it for the past four years and am still in complete awe every time.

“And if you join us for the morning session, you can enjoy a full English breakfast in our Mere side café!”

Visitors can also hear from guest speakers, including naturalist and conservationist Lucy Lapwing, and experienced wildlife photographer Ben Osborne, best known for his images of Antarctica in the book of the BBC series “Life in the Freezer” starring Sir David Attenborough. There will also be plenty of activities throughout the weekend, including a waterfowl and bird ringing demonstration from Reserve Manager Louise Clewley and photography sessions around the reserve from wildlife photographer and FUJIFILM UK ambassador Alan Hewitt.

There will be a wide range of exhibitors during the weekend, selling everything from books and artwork to wildlife holidays. The festival will be joined by the likes of BTO Garden Bird Watch, RSPB, Woodland Trust, Viking Optics, Experience Nature, and Birdwatching & Wildlife Club, alongside other wildlife-related exhibitors.

Nick Brooks, General Manager at WWT Martin Mere, said: “Although the geese are the stars of the show, you can also expect to see some much-loved waterfowl that have migrated here for the winter, such as the shelduck, wigeon, and pintail. You’ll learn all about these birds from our expert team during our feeding sessions.”

See a complete list of exhibitors and guest speakers.