Handfeeding is on hold. Due to ongoing Avian Influenza restrictions, visitors are not allowed to feed our birds. Sorry for any disappointment this causes, and thank you for your continuing support. It means the world to us!

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Llanelli News

Build  your perfect LEGO® Brick Wetland Safari visit

Build your perfect LEGO® Brick Wetland Safari visit

The UK's only LEGO® Brick Wetland Safari comes to Llanelli Wetland Centre this summer!

The Millennium Wetlands burst into life

The Millennium Wetlands burst into life

The Millennium Wetlands are literally bursting into life this spring, as trees and hedges break into bright leaves and glorious bird song reaches a crescendo as all the local singers are joined by migratory warblers. We recently started our annual breeding bird surveys on the reserve. The surveys see us attempt to map the territories of ALL the songbirds on the reserve using their songs and calls, as well as sightings. We are spoilt to have such a rich variety of habitats here, with a mosaic of woodland, reedbed, lakes and scrub, which are all attractive to a different range of species. We monitor both habitats and species annually so that we can ensure that our management work for wildlife is having the right effect, and adapt it if necessary. This year, treecreepers and goldcrests seem to be doing particularly well, having recovered from the brutal ‘Beast from the East’ a few years ago. We are also seeing (and hearing!) lots of bullfinches, blackcaps and chiffchaffs, as well as a few good sightings of red-listed willow tits, which benefit from the young, wet woodland areas where we leave lots of deadwood as nesting opportunities. For spring 2022, we are particularly excited to have nesting kingfishers - successfully lured to breed on-site with our purpose-built earth banks! We have also seen large numbers of shoveler (a very rare breeder in Wales), displaying great crested grebes, sparrowhawks and buzzards, and have heard singing water rails. Reserve Manager, Dr Brian Briggs, adds: The sound that lifts my heart above all others, has to be the crazy beeps and whistles of the displaying lapwings! Llanelli lapwings have increased from a single pair just five years ago, and they hadn’t fledged any young for many years, to around fifteen pairs this spring! This is following huge amounts of work as part of a project to restore a more open wetland landscape around the Deep Water Lake, which they require for nesting. Sadly, WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre is now the only site in the whole county with lapwings that successfully rear young, so we are working extra hard to give them the best chance possible. Look out for their camouflaged nests on the ground from the viewing screens on the centre path. And it's not all about the birds! We have been privileged to see up to three otters feeding together recently on a number of occasions, just below the Heron’s Wing hide. They seem to be out most often early in the morning, but they have been seen during normal opening hours too so stay vigilant!

Projects start to pay off with Llanelli's first black-winged stilt

Projects start to pay off with Llanelli's first black-winged stilt

After months of digging, de-silting, rebuilding and clearing, our ambitious work on the Freshwater Lagoon has already begun to yield results - with our first ever black-winged stilt gracing us with its presence in April. Many of you will have noticed the habitat enhancement work that was recently completed in and around the lagoon area of the grounds as part of an exciting project funded by Natural Resources Wales. The main aim of the project was to remove silt and make the area more attractive to a whole range of wetland wildlife, including the internationally important populations of birds that regularly move between the reserve and the Burry Inlet estuary. Species that we particularly hope to benefit over the coming years include our spectacular flocks of black-tailed godwit (we counted 600 on the reserve just the other day!), as well as pintail, lapwing, diving ducks, and the wonderful black-headed gull colony. Make sure to look out for the Mediterranean gulls amongst them – we had a record six pairs last year. In mid-April we were delighted to see our site's first-ever black-winged stilt appear on the Freshwater Lagoon. Only the second record in the county, the elegant long-legged wader made itself at home exploring the newly exposed mud and shallow waters, sometimes flying off to check out the Dafen Scrapes before returning again. Needless to say, the hides around the Freshwater Lagoon made viewing this beautiful bird easy and visitors captured some amazing photographs to document its stay. We hope to attract other scarce waders like avocet to the lagoon one day too, and improve breeding opportunities for lapwing and little ringed plover, as well as an increased number and variety of roosting and feeding birds. As part of the project, we have created a new Wetland Treatment System in the Marsh Garden area of the grounds, to trap silt and treat water that has passed through the living collection area by filtering it through a reedbed. Here is a photo of our volunteer team planting a new reedbed in the shallow water. As with all habitat creation and restoration work, the initial impression following completion can be quite dramatic, with lots of bare mud! It's important to remember that wetlands are incredibly dynamic, productive habitats, and they will be covered in vegetation again in no time at all! We took great care in the design and delivery of the project to carefully minimise any short-term negative impacts, and the methods we used have been tried and tested over many years. The similar Dafen Scrapes project work, in the fields behind the British Steel hide, demonstrated a hugely positive outcome for wildlife a few years previously, and have led to a dramatic increase in the variety and number of birds recorded in the area. So we can’t wait to see what arrives on the lagoon in the next couple of years! If you have any questions about any of the work taking place at WWT Llanelli, please don’t hesitate to chat with our team when you visit or you can join us on one of our monthly Walk With A Warden events to find out more. These walks take place on the third Saturday of every month, starting from the Info Desk at 11 AM. latest sightings

Show mum some love on Mother's Day

Show mum some love on Mother's Day

There's no gift quite like spending quality time together in our wonderful wetlands.

Easter Duck Trail

Easter Duck Trail

Can you 'quack the case' this Easter at WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre?

Llanelli Wetland Centre Turns 30

Llanelli Wetland Centre Turns 30

A very big day, even though we couldn't celebrate this anniversary in quite the way we'd planned

Spring Update From The Team

Spring Update From The Team

Find out more about what's been happening and how we are getting ready to reopen as soon as it's safe to do so.

Window Into The Wetlands: Reedbeds

Window Into The Wetlands: Reedbeds

Self-care is vital at any time but these days it's more important than ever. Take a mindful break and listen to the sounds of the rustling reedbeds.

Handy Livestream Bird ID Guide

Handy Livestream Bird ID Guide

Spotted an unfamiliar face at the feeder? Let our quick and easy identification guide help you get started!

Virtual Wildlife Spotting

Virtual Wildlife Spotting

We know how hard life has been for everyone lately and many are missing being able to get out to their local wetlands to connect with nature. To help we've set up live cameras to share two of our favourite views.

Fall for nature's spectacle this autumn

Fall for nature's spectacle this autumn

Just as wetlands offer sanctuary to thousands of animals over the colder months, they also make the perfect place to safely escape the everyday and appreciate one of nature’s greatest shows - autumn

Llanelli Wetland Centre to re-open on 15 July

Llanelli Wetland Centre to re-open on 15 July

We are pleased to announce that Llanelli Wetland Centre will re-open on Wednesday 15 July

Soundlands Open Call 2019: A Warning on Climate Change and Loss of Wetlands

Soundlands Open Call 2019: A Warning on Climate Change and Loss of Wetlands

A bold new sound art installation specially commissioned for the wetland environment will be coming to WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre this June.

Biffa Award Grant to WWT Llanelli

Biffa Award Grant to WWT Llanelli

WWT Llanelli is excited to announce that we have been awarded funding through Biffa Award; a multi-million-pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund. The grant will help fund our ambitious plans to re-landscape the Dafen Scrapes and improve existing features; creating important wetland habitat for the benefit of many species and promoting biodiversity across our beautiful site. The Dafen Scrapes Project will result in the creation and enhancement of rich habitats for many waterbirds, with the main aim of attracting them to the area during the breeding season. Focus species include avocet, lapwing, oystercatcher and shelduck, but the work will also encourage more roosting and feeding waders outside of the breeding season. In addition, the increased range of habitats will provide benefits for other wonderful wetland wildlife including water voles and invertebrates such as spectacular dragonflies and damselflies. Taking place right behind the British Steel Hide, the project will help to bring even more wildlife closer to visitors, particularly during the summer months. Our team of hardworking and dedicated reserve wardens and volunteers will begin to re-landscape the existing scrapes to reduce the steepness of banks and improve sightlines for birds. They will create shallow islands in the existing scrapes to increase breeding opportunities, and install floating shingle-covered islands to minimise predation risks. Furthermore, the team will work on new scrapes and depressions in the western portion of the area to increase ground moisture and habitat diversity, bolstering all-important wader chick feeding opportunities. Inviting nest boxes will be provided along the seawall to encourage colourful breeding shelducks, and there will also be habitat management between the Dafen Scrapes and the stunning Freshwater Lagoon to encourage more waders to use the Freshwater Lagoon by increasing habitat connectivity and improving sightlines. Reserve Manager Dr Brian Briggs said: ‘I’m very excited to get to work on the Dafen Scrapes project, creating extensive new wetland habitat for a range of wildlife and improving the view for visitors from our hides. We are optimistic that, from next spring, visitors will begin to see the positive effects of the work and we hope to attract breeding lapwing and perhaps even avocet to the area in years to come.’ Gillian French, Head of Grants said: “It is fantastic to be able to support such an important project. WWT are making new homes for beautiful but vulnerable birds while simultaneously creating new wildlife experiences for visitors to the site.”

Dads Visit Free On Father's Day!

Dads Visit Free On Father's Day!

Treat the special man in your life this father’s day with FREE entry for dad, tad or tad-cu at WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre on Sunday 17 June. This is a proper treat for dad and a great day out for the whole family. You can even enjoy some next-level paternal bonding at one of our workshops where you can help dad (with expert one-to-one tuition) build a bug hotel to take home during our drop-in sessions running between 11am and 12pm or 1pm and 4pm for just £5 per hotel. Other activities available throughout the day (and included in the admission price) include a special mini session of bug hunting and pond dipping 11am – 12pm, flamingo talk 1pm and a more pond dipping at 2.30pm. Don’t forget to stop off for a tasty bite or drink at the Kingfisher Kitchen with its stunning views of our beautiful grounds and the incredible Gower Peninsula. This really is great food by nature. Jess Thompson, Marketing Officer from WWT Llanelli, said: “Our Father’s Day offer can be enjoyed by all the family; there's something here for every generation! Visitors can hand-feed our tame collection of rare birds from around the world, spend time in one of our hides to get up-close to some of nature’s most wonderful wildlife, or simply enjoy a refreshing walk around the grounds or reserve. We've also got family activities such as pond dipping and a minibeast hunt, and different play areas to suit all ages. Then, after all that, you can sit back and relax with a special treat in our bright and welcoming Kingfisher Kitchen. Come along and make precious memories in the amazing outdoors this Father’s day!” Family Activities - June Weekends (activities are updated regularly, please click here to see what's on) All day: self-guided Den Building Stroll down to Wiggly Wood, at any time during the day, where you can have your own woodland adventure building your very own den. Get creative, weaving willow, or stick to rustic by using any natural materials at the site. 11am – 12pm Minibeast hunt and mini pond dipping Drop in anytime between 11-12 to search for creepy crawlies, hiding in our minibeast area, and discover which creatures live in our ponds. 1pm - 1.45pm Flamingo talk/Flamingo watch with telescope Join our guide down at the flamingo pen as they talk about how we care for our Caribbean flamingos, how they care for their babies and how they’re adapted to live in wetlands. The talk will be at 1pm but our guide will be there until 1.45pm with a telescope, allowing you to get a closer look at our feathered friends. 2.30pm - 3.15pm Pond dipping In this session, participants catch an abundance of creatures from our pond zone. We then move in to our discovery room where our guide will show you a selection of what was caught under our giant microscope. We also like to share with you all the weird and wonderful facts about our pond life. We do have limited capacity for this activity therefore booking is essential. There is no extra charge but please sign up for this activity on arrival at the information desk. WWT Llanelli Wetland is open daily from 9.30am – 5pm 363 days of the year!