Families flock to Washington Wetland Centre to become fully-fledged Junior Wetland Rangers

North East families looking for some fun with a difference this summer are heading to a Wearside wetland reserve to become fully-fledged Junior Wetland Rangers.

Young visitors to Washington Wetland Centre are getting hands-on with real-life rangers during activities including pond dipping, animal tracking, mini-beast hunting, den building and keeper role-play.

Designed to teach wildlife conservation skills while having fun outdoors, these hands-on tasks give children an idea of just what it takes to help save wetland nature on a daily basis - and hopefully ignite a passion to care for it in the future.

Throughout the summer, families can also pick up a FREE Junior Wetland Ranger record book on arrival and tick off the mini tasks as they explore wonderful wetland habitats, discovering incredible wildlife as they go (self-led, available daily).

JWR in hide 966x644.jpg

Sylvie Dixon, age six, from Washington Village, was completing the bird watching challenge in her record book at Northumbrian Water Hide and said:

I’ve never been in a bird hide before and it’s amazing how many species I’ve counted right in front of me. I’m really enjoying it and am even getting to use my five bar gates. I’m coming back to do the den building with my friends and I can’t wait for the rangers to show us how to make an awesome one!

Commenting on Instagram, mum Adele from ‘play_adventures_fun’, who took part in pond dipping, said:

Washington Wetland Centre is one of our favourite places to visit and we are regular visitors here. The school holiday activities are always brilliant and this summer the Junior Wetland Ranger activities are fantastic!

Rhys with children 966x644.jpg

Commenting on Instagram, mum Kylie from ‘creating_a_magical_childhood’, who took part in Health Check Heroes (pic above), said:

We never fail to have an amazing day out at WWT Washington and our visit at the weekend was no exception!The kids learnt so many new facts while having lots of fun, and as ever the staff were so lovely with them. We always enjoy a full day out here, with a bite to eat in the cafe which has the most beautiful views, and end our visit in the play park - particularly good on a sunny day where your littles can take their shoes off and splash about!

Commenting on Instagram, mum Vicky from ‘north_east_kids’, who took part in animal tracking (pic below) also said:

The staff are fantastic and very informative, the kids enjoyed joining in and learning all about the different things they do to care for the animals.

John and children tracking 966x644 4.jpg

WWT Washington’s reserve manager John Gowland added:

This summer, we thought families would welcome the chance to experience what it’s like to be a ranger through special, fun-packed tasks, which include activities that I do as part of my day-to-day job. Hopefully, we’ll also inspire some of our younger visitors to become the wetland rangers of the future; helping to create a world where healthy wetland nature thrives and enriches lives.

As well as Junior Wetland Rangers, there are loads of other reasons to visit Washington Wetland Centre during the summer holidays, including daily otter and flamingo talks, wild bird hides and new ducklings at the specialist duckery.

Junior Wetland Rangers is made possible through the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Ready to visit?

If you've been inspired to explore Washington Wetland Centre this summer, find out more and plan your visit online.

Plan your visit