The magic of wetland nature

It’s been a long winter but suddenly the world is bursting with birdsong and blossom. Nature is pushing forward, waking from its long sleep and embracing the longer days. Maybe it’s time for us to do the same? Our blue spaces have an extra special draw for many of us and at this time of year the natural world has a magical way of filling us with hope and promise, let’s embrace it together.

Here are five easy ways to get out there and make the most of all that our wonderful wetlands have to offer this spring.

1. Paddle your own canoe or try a guided boat tour

A man paddling a canoe

Take a gentle trip in a beautiful watery spot. Gliding peacefully among the reeds, there really is nothing more relaxing you can do on a sunny day. Watch the sun on the water and look out for the wildlife around you. Spot flitting hoverflies, darting kingfishers and maybe even the elusive watervole. It’s the best way to get close to wetland nature.

Join the adventure at WWT Slimbridge, WWT Martin Mere and WWT Arundel.

2. Stride out in nature.

Child and goslings

Get outside and walk mindfully, engage your senses, notice each step. Listen to the water splashing, the birds calling and the reeds rustling. Look out for things that bring joy. It's hard to pass a group of fluffy, cheeping chicks on a footpath without raising a smile. Just noticing the abundance of new life around at this time of year can help reassure you that all is well with the world.

Our sites are all fully accessible we have special walkways only open during the summer to explore at WWT Welney and WWT Slimbridge.

If you would like to know more, why not join us for one of our Power of Nature workshops? These sessions, held at WWT Arundel, will be run by a qualified CBT therapist. Learn to use mindfulness techniques with nature to improve your well-being.

3. Wildlife watching

Reed warbler singing in the reeds

There’s so much wildlife to experience this month! Engage your senses and listen out for the song of cuckoos and reed warblers among the willows and reedbeds. It won’t be long before you’ll spot damselflies and dragonflies flitting around and beautiful wild flowers like flag iris, meadowsweet and watermint will appear.

For those keen to know more about wetland plants, why not join one of our ‘Wetland plant walk’ evening events at WWT Welney?

Get in amongst it at WWT Welney and WWT Caleaverock.

4. Discover something new

Research shows that challenging ourselves to learn something new is good for our sense of wellbeing. Come and learn about some of our most interesting characters, from our fascinating flamingos to the cheeky otter families. At some of our centres you can hear talks from our resident experts and learn all about these amazing animals and their habitats.

Visit WWT Washington, London, Slimbridge or Martin Mere for otters and WWT Llanelli, Slimbridge, Martin Mere and Washington for flamingos.

5. Get together

Group of birders walking along a path by a wetland

Spending time with like-minded people is a great way to reconnect with the world. For those looking for some expert advice, many of our centres offer guided wildlife watching sessions that offer an opportunity to learn more, as well as family-friendly hides. From monthly bird watching mornings at Castle Espie, sessions for beginners and more advanced birders at Slimbridge, and monthly guided ‘walk with a warden’ session on the third Saturday of each month at Llanelli. There’s nothing more relaxing than the peace, quiet and attention to detail required for this past-time. In fact we think birdwatching might be the definition of mindfulness itself.

More inspiration and ideas for getting out and about:

Health and Wellbeing booklet

Plan your spring adventure:

Find your nearest wetland centre