Hides re-open to enhance wildlife viewing

Nature lovers will once again be able to view wildlife from inside the popular hides and the multi-level observatory at WWT Welney Wetland Centre, when government restrictions on closing indoor areas are lifted on 17 May.

The Wigeon café will also be re-starting indoor seating, giving visitors the full wetland centre experience for the first time since last summer. At Welney, this includes four hides, in particular our main observatory with photography basement open for ground level views of the main lagoon, alongside the many outdoor wildlife viewing points. Social distancing and other guidelines to keep everyone safe will be observed across the site in all areas, including inside the hides. Reedbed hide will remain closed until after the breeding season as repairs are needed along the boardwalk accessing it. Our monthly update at the end of May will give details on plans to increase reserve access in June.

Hides open - birdwatching from hide (5)-scr.JPG

Numbers on site are still being restricted for a crowd-free experience, and all visitors are asked to pre-book tickets including those who visit for free such as members, children under four, and carers.

Leigh Marshall, Centre Manager for Welney, said:

“We know how important the hides are to so many of our visitors and we can’t wait for people to return to them.

“As spring turns to summer, this is a fantastic time of the year to spot birds including black-tailed godwit, bittern and sedge warbler, as well as other wildlife like dragonflies, damselflies and wildflowers.Our hides provide views over our pools, in addition to the variety of opportunities our footpaths and screens already give.

We have traditional wooden hides looking out onto pools and close to reeds, the larger main hide with comfortable seating and panoramic views of the Washes. The addition of hides means more chances for everyone to view wildlife how they feel comfortable, including families, photographers, keen bird-watchers or just anyone wanting to escape from the unpredictable British weather.

The hides are particularly loved by photographers who use them to capture intimate wildlife moments including courtship rituals, feeding young and preening. The water-side hides offer a variety of shot levels and close up opportunities.

Welney’s Wigeon café, which will also re-open on 17 May, offers a selection of tasty hot and cold food, snacks, cakes, drinks and ice-cream to help fuel visitors on their wetland adventure.

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