Living North

Autumn is upon us and the change in season brings new wetland nature just waiting to be discovered at Washington Wetland Centre.

See incredible wildlife…

This time of year is all about migratory journeys – large-scale nature on the move and at its most visceral – and out on the wild reserve, we turn our eyes skywards to welcome the first over-wintering migrants at Wader Lake.

Escape the everyday and take some time out in our waterside hides, with black-tailed godwit, greenshank, knot, curlew and various sandpiper arriving; snipe and whimbrel dropping in to refuel en route elsewhere and skeins of majestic geese passing noisily overhead. Sights and sounds not to be missed!

Berry-laden trees provide feasts for redwing and fieldfare around site, while our woodlands become sheltered sanctuaries for brambling and redpoll, mating bats and young owls looking for territories.

Stop a while in Hawthorn Wood hide or pause at the Lookout viewing screen and watch species including bullfinch, nuthatch and great-spotted woodpecker gorging on fatballs and seeds.

Check out our wildlife sightings, updated daily by our staff and volunteers, for an idea of what else is about at the moment.

Wildlife sightings

Take a seasonal stroll…

An autumnal wander around our wetlands offers rich colours, endless skies and evolving landscapes to experience and enjoy.

The season’s earthy palette and gentle light lend our wetlands and their wildlife a magical glow – an ideal challenge for photographers to try and capture.

If you’re more about finding that one star species, then our saline lagoon won’t disappoint, with regular sightings of elusive kingfisher at this time of year. Read our top tips on where to find them and how to spot them here.

Spending time with like-minded people is a great way to connect with nature. In September and October, why not join one of our warden-led walks or evening bat events and learn more about the amazingly varied nature that calls our wild reserve home?

See our What’s On pages for full details and information about these and other upcoming events, including daily otter and flamingo talks.

What's on

Join us in our mission…

Wetlands are not only spectacular to visit at this time of year, they’re also lifelines, providing water, food or habitat for almost all species, including more than a billion of us humans.

And yet, wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests – 35% have disappeared since 1970.

Become a WWT member and you’ll be supporting us in our mission to help protect and restore vital wetlands for generations, while visiting as often as you like to watch the seasons unfold and see the tangible difference your donation is making.

Our Wetlands Can! campaign also pledges to create 100,000 hectares of healthy wetlands around the UK by pressing the government to prioritise and invest in more wetlands.

Each name we collect will help build the momentum needed to solve today’s pressing climate, nature and wellbeing crises.

Add your support

What next?

Plan your visit and sign up to our enewsletter to stay connected with WWT and the latest goings on at Washington Wetland Centre.