Wildlife photography

Our wetland centres across the UK are the ideal place to capture fantastic images of nature. We have a huge variety of rare and beautiful birds, wetland mammals, amphibians and other animals that you can get incredibly close to for that perfect shot. The action is right in front of you!

Amazing subjects up close

At our wetland sites you can get really close to some of the UK’s and the world’s most important wetland wildlife in natural settings to create stunning shots.

Species include...

  • some of the largest populations of wild water birds in the UK, including waders, ducks and geese and huge flocks of over-wintering species such as whooper swans and pink-footed, barnacle and brent geese (see Wetland Centre latest sightings pages for up to date news on which birds are on our reserves)
  • collections of dramatic, rare and endangered wetland species from around the world, including flamingos, Hawaiian geese, storks and otters (species vary by centre)

Viewing facilities

Thanks to our excellent viewing facilities, you can capture breath-taking wildlife spectacles and behaviours, such as breeding rituals, feeding young and preening.

Viewing facilities include a range of water-side hides, offering a variety of shot levels, close up opportunities, and some with a selection of bird watching equipment, to take advantage of the action right in front of your eyes.

Our specialist wader aviaries also create wonderful opportunities to capture beautiful birds up close.

Something different to capture every season

There’s always something to photograph at our sites, 364 days a year.

In spring and summer, capture baby birds and animals taking their first steps, summer migrant birds arriving, species emerging from hibernation, birds displaying and much more.

Autumn and winter bring awe-inspiring natural spectacles. Huge flocks of geese and swans arrive from the arctic to shelter in our wetland landscapes. WWT Caerlaverock, Martin Mere, Slimbridge and Welney have wild swan feeds where bird species who don’t otherwise go near humans are just in front of you.

Unique access

You can gain unique access to our wild reserves at most of our centres by booking a safari or tour to see wildlife in stunning settings which are not accessible to the general public.

In addition, you can visit our reserves out of hours to witness the ‘commuter times’ of birds arriving and taking off en masse at special dawn and dusk events (see Wetland Centre centre What’s On pages for details).

Additional information

  • Comfort

    Our sites are built for comfort with waterside cafes serving delicious hot and cold food and drink, and Discovery Hides with comfy sofas and heating for the ultimate in relaxed wildlife photography
  • Expertise and equipment

    Our WWT wardens are experts on the wildlife they care for and many are also photography experts with lots of tips on where and when to see certain birds and the best way to photograph them. Some centres have specialist In Focus shops where you can try out wildlife watching equipment before you buy, with experts on hand for advice.
  • Events and competitions

    We hold a range of photography events throughout the year for beginners to professionals and every level in between – see centre ‘What’s On’ pages for details. To make the most of our winter bird stars we hold specialist winter events such as Martin Mere’s North West Bird Fair, Slimbridge’s Wild Winter and Castle Espie’s Brent Festival. We also hold photography competitions – keep an eye on our social media and news pages for details.
  • Share your images

    We love showcasing your amazing photographs and footage and, with your permission, often share these on our social media channels, Flickr accounts and via Waterlife, our membership magazine (circulation c.94,000).