Jump into nature and make a splash this February half term!
The Arundel Lagoon project will improve nesting habitat for oystercatchers, ringed plovers and terns at the Sand Martin hide.
We're open every day except Christmas Day
In 2017 The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust wardens were excited when two marsh harriers began flying into the far reedbeds at Arundel Wetland Centre in the late afternoons. In 2018 the number of marsh harriers regularly hunting and roosting on the reserve increased to six, then to eight in 2019. This number is holding strong for 2021 according to Reserve Manager Suzi Lanaway. Suzi spends some chilly hours in the hide on a Sunday once a month to do the official count for the monthly Harrier Roost Survey run by The Hawk and Owl Trust. In recent years the eight birds at Arundel are the largest roosting population recorded in Sussex and the fifth largest concentration of marsh harriers in the Essex-Kent-Sussex area. Suzi Lanaway said: “The steady number of harriers on our wetland reserve is great news because it shows we have the balance right for managing our wetland habitats.” The presence of the marsh harriers also indicates the Arun River Valley to be a healthy ecosystem as a whole. To support a large number of hunting raptors like the marsh harrier there must be a multitude of small birds, fish and mammals in the area - to support that population there must be hoards of healthy plants and insects to feed on.” It is easy for visitors to see the marsh harriers in the Arun River Valley. The birds arrive at Arundel Wetland Centre around 3.45 pm in the afternoon, flying low over the reedbeds before landing in the reeds to spend the night. The marsh harriers often make a few passes before landing. The best views are from the Scrape hide and the Reedbed hide and you will need binoculars. Look out for little egrets and pied wagtails roost in numbers at Arundel Wetland Centre as well. Visitors must be back in the visitor centre when Arundel Wetland Centre closes at 4.30 pm. The wild birds, ducks and geese currently around the reserve can be found on our sightings page HERE
From pulling birds back from extinction to creating wonderful new nature friendly habitats - the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) celebrates 75 years of ground breaking conservation work and sharing the wonders of wetlands and wetland wildlife. WWT Arundel Wetland Centre shares the birthday, first opening its doors 45 years ago on November 10 1976. WWT founder Sir Peter Scott planned the exhibits, hides and natural areas at Arundel Wetland Centre with Andrew Dawnay the first warden and general manager. When the reserve opened in 1976 there were only two wildlife hides and a port-a-kabin at the gate to take tickets which cost 50p for adults and 25p for children. In its 45 years Arundel Wetland Centre has had a huge number of achievements including: Reintroduction of water voles between 1999 -2005 joining up local populations on the Mill stream ditches and the Arun RiverRestoring wet grassland habitat, crucial for breeding lapwingCreating nesting banks for breeding kingfishers and sand martinsMaintaining SSSI reedbeds for summer warblers and roosting marsh harriers in winterReintroducing threatened triangular club rush Described by Sir David Attenborough as the “patron saint of conservation”, Sir Peter Scott founded WWT on the banks of the River Severn in 1946 with just 1,000 members and one site at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. Since then, the charity has grown to ten UK sites including Arundel Wetland Centre created and helped to protect thousands of hectares of wetlands around the world, and is now supported by more than 180,000 members. Building on the passion of Sir Peter Scott, who championed wetlands and wildlife while recognising their value to people, WWT is drawing on over seven decades of experience to ensure wetlands are put centre stage in the fight to meet global challenges. It aims to inspire one million people to take action for wetlands by spreading the word about the many benefits of these amazing habitats not just for wildlife but for people’s everyday lives. The charity plans to achieve both these aims through many conservation projects throughout the world and its Wetlands Can! campaign. This focuses on the creation of 100,000 hectares of healthy wetlands across the UK to help combat the nature, climate, and mental health crises. WWT is calling for a ‘blue recovery’ where this ambition is incorporated into national and international policies to protect the planet, including strategies to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Sir Peter Scott was an extraordinary man and in 1946 he had a vision – to create a safe haven for wild birds while at the same time bringing people closer to nature,” said WWT Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Peberdy. “He understood that people and nature are part of the same intertwined ecosystem. He realised – ahead of his time – that our wealth, our health and our emotional wellbeing all depend on the natural world. He appreciated that showing people how amazing wetland nature is can ignite a passion to preserve it. “At WWT today we still hold these principals at the heart of everything we do. We may be a much larger charity than we were when we started back in 1946, but we still believe fervently in wetlands and what they can do, – for wildlife and for humans, and increasingly for the planet. If rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then wetlands are the lifeblood. As much as we need air to breathe, we need water to live. The conservation of our wetlands is essential to life on Earth.” In its 75 years, WWT has had a huge number of achievements and hit many milestones. These include: Restoring and creating wetlands on every continent and along critical global flywaysBuilding a global network of over 350 wetland sites and organisations that share WWT’s passion for wetland protection and engagement.Working on action plans for over 30 threatened and declining wetland species and the wetlands on which they dependThrough understanding their value for wetland birds, helped protect over 700,000 hectares of the UK’s most important wetlandsHelping more than two million children to discover the magic of wetland wildlifeProviding a safe haven for 15 million migratory birds to spend the winter at our UK sites “When we look back we realise what an enormous amount we have achieved” said Kevin Peberdy. “But of course the work isn’t done and we now look forward to taking Peter Scott’s philosophy of creating a world where healthy nature thrives and enriches all of our lives and applying it to the situation today. “None of this would be achievable without our incredible staff, volunteers and supporters and it is them I would like to thank as we join millions of other people around the world to work to ensure the future of the planet. “It won’t be easy but all of us here at WWT will think of our remarkable founder Peter Scott as we try to do our best for the wildlife and the habitats that he so loved”.
Arundel Wetland Centre joins the National Lottery Days Out campaign to offer discounted and free entry this autumn.
This new trail will provoke shrieks and laughter as families follow the interactive trail to discover the creatures lurking at Arundel Wetland Centre.
WWT Arundel in West Sussex joins call to create more wetlands as new research shows huge public support for investment in natural solutions to the climate emergency
Families can discover the wonder of wetlands this summer, with a self-led Wetland Explorer activities at Arundel Wetland Centre. Designed to teach valuable skills while having fun outdoors, these interactive challenges will reconnect visitors young and old with the natural world through wild play and exploration. Can you listen like an owl? Create the art of nature? Can you spot the different ways that birds feed? Go snap happy and collect photo memories? Grab your free logbook on arrival and tick off the self-led tasks as you venture around site to earn your Wetland Explorer sticker as a take-home reminder of your great day out! Or why not get even more hands-on during a pond dipping activity session daily with our team and included with admission (donations gratefully accepted). Plus, don’t miss the seasonal wildlife action out on our reserve, with highlights including young sand martins at the Sand Martin hide, ponds buzzing with colourful dragonflies and meadows awash with our stunning wetland wildflowers and butterflies. Both play areas are fully open and our café is serving takeaway snacks and treats, to be enjoyed indoors (limited seating) or surrounded by wildlife at one of our many picnic-friendly spaces. Wetland Explorers runs from Sat 24 July – Wed 1 Sept. Visit for https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/arundel admission tickets (must be pre-booked) and share your amazing adventures with us using #wetlandexplorers!
WWT Arundel Wetland Centre celebrated the official opening of the Coastal Creek Aviary and the Pelican Cove exhibit on Thurs 10 June. The evening’s activities also toasted the 75th Anniversary of the Wildfowl &Wetlands Trust and the 45th year since Arundel Wetland Centre first opened. Kevin Perberdy, CEO of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Barnaby Briggs, of the WWT Council of Trustees were on hand to greet 30 local supporters of the wetland charity including Tony Hunt, the Mayor of Arundel and Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs and members of the Kleinwort Trust. Kevin Peberdy spoke about the history of the WWT and of Arundel Wetland Centre while Barnaby Briggs spoke about wetland habitat creation and restorations planned for the future. Arundel Wetland Centre Manager Tim McGregor said “Together with the recently opened Pelican Cove area next door, home to magnificent Dalmatian pelicans, Coastal Creek maximises bird welfare while providing a brilliant experience for visitors, and it’s hopefully the first of more developments to come.” Guests toured the 40 metre long Coastal Creek aviary, home to sea ducks with a diving tank with underwater views escorted by Head Keeper Samantha Halpin who oversaw the project work of contractors during the lockdown in 2020. Next door the Dalmatian pelicans were a bit lazy in the heat, only catching a few of their fish offered by keepers at their new Pelican Cove exhibit. However visitors dined on canapés made from Sussex ingredients, followed by trips through the reedbeds on the wetland boat safari to round out the evening of the outdoor special event. Development timeline Work on the two exhibits began in Nov 2019 by moving birds and relocating the fish and eels. Tree works began that December and earth moving began in January 2020 after the area had dried out a bit. The Covid 19 pandemic in 2020 temporarily stopped work during the first lockdown but construction resumed in June and finished in December. The deep diving tank and the equipment to flow water around the exhibit and out into the natural treatment reedbed were installed early in 2021. In Feb 2021 the Collection Team began introducing sea ducks and waders into their new aviary including new species like stunning spectacled eiders. Avocets and redshank were added in late March with the pair of tiny redshank often taking flight around the large netted aviary.
The new Coastal Creek avairy opened to visitors in April The next time you visit Arundel Wetland Centre, you'll be able to explore the Coastal Creek aviary. The new Coastal Creek aviary is landscaped with rocks, shoreline vegetation and waterfalls, to recreate a coastline feel, giving the seaducks and waders inside a more natural environment. Standing 15 metres tall and 40 metres long the aviary offers plenty of space for the birds to take flight. The large, glass sided diving duck tank opened on May 24 after an issue with the filtering system. The spectacled eiders and longtail ducks love clambering up the waterfall to swim on and dive in the tank. Special daily feeds & talks with our Keepers in the aviary will be part of our summer program in 2021. Male spectacled eider duck underwater in the diving tank Photo: Alan Strong Tim McGregor, Arundel Centre Manager. “With waders and ducks both swimming around and flying above visitors, it’s a truly multi-sensory experience.” Three types of habitat exist in the new Coastal Creek aviary. The wader stream replicates the shallow estuaries and gravelled beaches for redshank and avocets, while seaducks will feel at home in the deep water dive tank or climbing the waterfalls that mimic coastal cliffs. Who lives in the Coastal Creek Aviary: common scoters spectacled eiders harlequin scaly sided merganser long-tailed ducks avocets redshanks This ambitious development began in Nov 2019 by moving our collection birds and relocating the fish and eels. Tree works began that December and earth moving began in January 2020 after the area had dried out a bit. The Covid 19 pandemic in 2020 temporarily stopped work during the first lockdown but construction resumed in June and finished in December. The deep diving tank and the equipment to flow water around the exhibit and out into the natural treatment reedbed were installed early in 2021. In Feb 2021 the Collection Team began introducing seaducks and waders into their new aviary including new species like fantastic spectacled eiders. Avocets and redshank were added in late March with the pair of tiny redshank often taking flight around the large netted aviary. Visitors can see the new Coastal Creek Aviary when Arundel Wetland Centre reopens on April 12. We ask for your patience as we will have a safe queueing system in place at the aviary to assist visitor entry as the birds get used to the increase in people on site. Also look out for the new Pelican Cove exhibit next door, the home of magnificent Dalmatian pelicans. Our team will be on hand to answer questions at this exciting, new exhibit. Arundel Wetland Centre reopened on Mon 12 April. Book your visit
New observations postcard allow visitors to help wardens watch wildlife at Arundel Wetland Centre
This half term (May 28-June 6) pack your day out at WWT Arundel Wetland Centre full of family fun with pond dipping sessions, hand feeding the ducks and riding the boat safari! The wildlife viewing hides are open and there are loads of wild ducklings, goslings and cygnets roaming the meadows. Arundel Wetland Centre Manager Tim McGregor said “We are pleased to have restarted most of our pre-COVID activities at Arundel Wetland Centre, with some changes to help our visitors and staff stay safe.” New Family Pond Dipping sessions Diving beetle? Water spider? Damselfly? What creatures can your family spot on your twenty minute session at the Raised Pond? Family Pond Dipping sessions can be booked on the day of your visit at the admissions desk. We suggest a £3 family donation per session to keep us in pond nets and trays. Hand feed the nene geese Hand feeding the ducks has begun again, too. With seed in your hand and rare birds from around the world at your feet, giggles of delight are inevitable in the Lakes & Forests Exhibit. Get close to the friendly Nene geese with handfuls of healthy grain for 20p from our vending machine. Plus more experiences to fill your visitThe Wetland Boat Safari can be booked online along with your admission ticket, or onsite the day of your visit but seating is limited. Set off your watery adventure searching for dragonflies, fish and water voles between 11am to 3.30pm. There is an additional £3 charge for this activity. Both the Pond Skater and Tree Creepers play areas are open for families. Arundel’s wildlife hides are open with views of kingfishers, sand martins and lapwing families. Wild greylag goslings and mute swan cygnets are waddling around the meadows too! There is selection of hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams available by counter service from the Water's Edge cafe to fuel your wetland adventure. Sit indoors in the gallery or on the outdoor decking seats. You’re also welcome to bring your own food and drink and make use of our well-spaced picnic benches plus our ice cream van near the boat jetty is open. The Gift Shop is open offering a gorgeous selection of gifts, fun toys, informative books and good value bird food and feeding accessories. Buy an annual membership here to support the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust and your admission ticket counts towards the cost. Book online today To help keep everyone safe we’re carefully managing the number people who visit on any one day and are asking everyone to book in advance, so we can give you the best possible experience. Book your visit
Our wildlife hides are currently closed but there are many ways and places to experience wildlife this spring at Arundel Wetland Centre.
Meet the Dalmatian pelican - the largest and rarest of the pelican species with a wingspan up to 11 feet! Brand new to Arundel Wetland Centre these big birds are in the brand new Pelican Cove exhibit opening this April! Dalmatian pelicans were a familiar sight in UK wetlands 2000 years ago, but they became extinct here as their wetland homes were drained and people hunted them for food. These big birds are built to fish with a huge throat pouch under an oversized beak that holds up to 3 buckets of water, acting like a net to scoop up prey. Their new home on Pelican Cove was built in tandem with the brand new Coastal Creek aviary next door. We moved collection birds and relocated the fish and eels from the old World wildfowl exhibit in Nov 2019. Tree cuts that December were followed by earth movers in Jan 2020. The Covid 19 pandemic slowed construction down, as did a pair of oystercatchers who nested and raised two chicks in the middle of the construction site! The exhibit with its two islands where the pelicans will gather for daily feeds was completed in Dec 2020. Dalmatian pelican released into its new home - Pelican Cove The Dalmatian Pelicans are sharing their home with some noisy neighbours – the red breasted geese, nicknamed squeakers for their distinct “squeaky toy” call. The geese will help keep the grass in check as they love to graze plus their noisy presence will add some interest for the placid pelicans. Who lives in Pelican Cove? Dalmatian pelicans Red-breasted geese