WWT Slimbridge

Severn Wader Festival 2018

Sat 15 September - Sun 16 September

2018 will see the return of the Severn Wader Festival at Slimbridge, a fantastic weekend packed with events and activities to celebrate our wading birds.

Why not book your place on one of our special wader focussed Bird Watch Morning Walks or a Wild Safari as we head out to the River Severn for the high tide. Capture our waders on camera or with pencil and paintbrush in our exclusive art sessions, run by our experts.

Be sure to make your way around the reserve’s hides to meet our wader festival guides and pick up hints and tips to help you spot new species, or sit down in the comfort of our cinema and watch informative identification videos from conservation organisations from around the world.

So this September, join the WWT Slimbridge reserve team, our friends from Wader Quest and other conservation organisations from up and down the estuary for a weekend celebrating the inspiration of waders on the Severn.

High Tide Wild Safari

A special Wild Safari heading off the beaten track to look for waders on the incoming tide.

Saturday: 10am to 12:30pm

Sunday: 10:30am to 1pm

Price: £5 per person

Pre-book only via website. Meet in the visitor centre foyer

The High Tide Wild Safari will replace the usual morning Wild Safari, but the normal 2pm will run as usual (weather permitting), bookable via admissions desk on the day.

Bird Watch After Hours

Join our Warden after closing to see what our waders get up to as the day ends.  Whilst some birds head to roost, others are getting ready to head out to feed hopefully with a glorious sunset as the backdrop. (Sunset around 7:25pm)

Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, 5pm to 7:30pm

Price: £5 per person

Pre-book only via website. Meet in car park


BTO wader ID video workshop

Drop in to the cinema to watch a series of short videos helping you to brush up on your ID skills of all our waders.

Date/Time: Saturday and Saunday, 9:30am to 3pm

Price: Free, just drop in

Location: In the cinema (Toad Hall)

Guide in Hides

Head out on to the reserve and meet our expert guides who will be on hand to help you identify the waders you can see from our hides.

Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 3pm

Price: Free, just turn up

Locations: Zeiss Hide, South Lake Discovery Hide, Rushy Hide, Mid Point (new caravan)

Meet the birds of Wader Shore

Discover more about the amazing birds up close in our Wader Shore exhibit with the help of our expert volunteers.

Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, 2pm (around 20 minutes)

Price: Free, just turn up

Local Bird Clubs

Meet local bird clubs from along the Severn Estuary and discover how they are helping waders in their area.

Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am to 3pm

Price: Free, just turn up


  • Wader Quest
  • BTO Gloucestershire and Avon
  • Dursley Birdwatching and Preservation Society
  • Bristol Ornithological Club
  • North Cotswold Ornithological Club
  • Cheltenham Bird Club
  • WWT projects – Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit

Wader Sketching Workshop

Enjoy a morning with local artist Sarah Hitchcock and learn sketching skills to capture characters and detailed features of our waders on paper, along with the know-how to go away and develop your skills further.

Saturday: 9:30am to 1pm

Price: £25 per person

Pre-book only via website. Meet in the visitor centre foyer

The workshop will focus on how to draw wading birds. You will spend time in the hides and at ‘Wader Shore’ with Sarah on hand to offer tips and techniques to help you capture the character and movement of these elegant birds.  Participants should bring their own sketch pads, pencils and charcoal and any other materials you wish to use.


Terms and Conditions – Events.

  • When booking a place on an event, your ticket entitles you to entry to that event only. You will also need to purchase admission to WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre as well, unless otherwise stated. For admission to WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, book online in advance to save 10%.

  • Payment must be made at the time of booking.

  • All tickets are non-refundable and can only be redeemed on the date specified in your booking.

  • If, for any reason, you are unable to attend an event on the date you have booked, at least 21 days’ notice must be given in order for us to transfer you to an equivalent event.

  • If the event you are transferring to differs in price, the difference will either need to be paid by you at the time of transfer or refunded to you.

  • Late cancellations (less than 21 days in advance of the event) would require the vacant space to be filled by another paying customer before we are able to transfer you to a different date. In the event that a replacement attendee cannot be found, monies would be lost.

  • Please arrive around 10 minutes before the start of your event (unless otherwise stated on the event page). In some instances late arrival may result in the loss of a place. If you’re able to contact us to let us know that you will be late, please do so, so that we can do our best to accommodate you.

  • WWT Slimbridge reserves the right to cancel an event due to unforeseen circumstances, including low numbers or inclement weather etc. In these instances we would contact you at the earliest opportunity and you would be offered the choice of a space on an equivalent event (where available) or a full refund.

  • We recommend supplying us with more than one contact detail, specifically a mobile number, so that we are able to contact you if necessary.

  • For outdoor activities please be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Sturdy boots, coats for inclement weather, water and sun cream for hotter days are recommended.