Due to ongoing UK AI restrictions, visitors are not allowed to feed our birds for now. Many thanks for your continued patience.

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Top 5 things to do this half term at Washington Wetland Centre

Top 5 things to do this half term at Washington Wetland Centre

Early spring is a great time to explore nature, and with half term around the corner there's lots for families to explore! Here's our TOP 5 things to do during a visit to our wonderful wetlands! 1. Puddle Jumping Be prepared to get soaked; yes we're encouraging you to make huge splashes and get absorbed into the fun of jumping in puddles. With warm-up stations, a welly shy and fun obstacle course with a big puddle finale, it's a great way to blow off the cobwebs and explore our wetlands this February. Self-led all day throughout the half term - Saturday 19 - Sunday 27 February. Included in admission (free for members).

Early signs of spring around our wetlands

Early signs of spring around our wetlands

It might still be chilly or windy out there most days, but some early spring signs are already starting to appear around our wetlands. There’s something rather exhilarating about the arrival of this most hopeful of seasons; the natural world on the cusp of new life and new beginnings and we have the privilege of watching it all unfold. How lucky! Dainty snowdrops have been bobbing their heads in our woodlands for a couple of weeks now, to the delight of visitors. They may seem fragile but these bold little flowers are first to nudge through the frozen ground in January and we love them for it. Hazel and willow catkins can also be seen and some trees are beginning to bud, while vibrant yellow gorse bushes add a welcome pop of colour. Fun fact: the distinctive ‘coconutty’ scent of gorse flowers at their peak in spring is experienced very strongly by some people but weakly by others! Why not get together with friends or family for an outdoor adventure soon and explore our woodlands, meadows and waterways as they start awakening after winter? Here are some more early spring signs to look out for as you go and please share your stories or pics with us! Early spring flowers and trees Snowdrops, crocuses and wood anemone are some of the earliest and most welcome floral signs of spring, as are catkins forming on willow trees. The silver catkins of the pussy willow look like little furry cat's paws - hence the name! This is a busy time of year for trees, as their roots start pulling water and nutrients up from the soil, while their buds – lying dormant since autumn – get ready to burst into leaf as soon as there’s enough sunlight. Trees which are pollinated by wind have to flower before the leaves emerge, so that the foliage doesn’t restrict the flow of pollen. The pretty, crimson stamens of the ash tree do this around March time. In late February, cheerful yellow daffodils begin to appear and our woodland floors gain a smattering of dog’s mercury, making the most of the light before the tree canopy shades over. New floral life is emerging near water too. Marsh marigold (a kind of boggy buttercup) starts to bloom its yellow flowers by March. Unlike many plants, its flowers remain open in wet weather and actually fill with rain, allowing pollen to float from the stamens to the stigma and ensuring pollination even in the rainiest of British springs, when few insects are about. So clever. Nest-building Early spring on our wild reserve is all about new birdlife and the buzz of activity that comes with it. Squabbles over territories, elaborate courtship displays and mating calls, frenetic nest-building…this season has it all! One of the UK’s best grey heron colonies returns to set up home in the hedge opposite Wader Lake in January. These large wading birds can be seen jostling for space or carrying nesting material back and forth from the comfort of our hides, with their spiky haired chicks making an appearance in March. Regionally rare avocets are a key species here; courting, mating and nesting on the lake’s shingle islands. Their earliest ever arrival was 16 February 2019. Eyes on the skies during your visit to see if they break that record this year! The drawn-out ‘peewit’ call of the red-listed lapwing is something to listen out for too. From the reedbed vantage point behind our duckery you can watch them as they soar and tumble through the air above Wader Meadow, in a dramatic attempt to attract a mate. Fun fact: A group of lapwings is called a 'deceit' – named after the way the parent birds lure predators away from their nests by feigning a broken wing. In the woodlands, birdsong begins to build from February, as early nesters including blackbirds, blue tits and great tits become more vocal in a bid to attract a partner and warn rivals away from their territory. Frogspawn Synonymous with springtime, frogspawn typically appears on site by March, but unexpectedly warm weather can see our amphibious friends returning to mate at the ponds where they spawned even earlier. Take a stroll along the river footpath to our amphibian ponds and look just below the surface of the water, especially amongst the reeds at the edge, to be rewarded with sneak peeks of these amazing jellified clusters containing thousands of tiny embryos.

Experiencing our wetlands through your senses: a guide

Experiencing our wetlands through your senses: a guide

Our senses play an essential part in how we interpret the natural world. But what if we don’t have full use of them, or want to absorb the magic of nature in a different way? BBC Winterwatch recently starred visually impaired photographer Alex Ditch, from Sunderland, as he navigated our wetlands with limited sight (and help from his wonderful mam) in search of his dream photographic subject - a kingfisher. Find out more about his journey here https://bit.ly/Alex-BBC His story got us thinking about the different ways in which our wetlands and their wildlife can be experienced using your senses. Read on for just a few ideas of where to go and what to do during a visit, to awaken yours... Wander through our wetlands With nature, a sense of awe or perspective usually stems from witnessing something visual – a breathtaking scene or a particularly stunning species, for example. But on a wander around our wetlands, this exhilaration can come in other forms. Stand near our reedbed on a rainy day and feel the heightened sensation of raindrops splashing your skin as you soak in the vast sense of space around you. Move under the cover of the nearby shelter and you can listen to the soothing rhythm of the drops falling, while taking deep lungfuls of the fresh, cool air. The puddles made or left behind by a shower also offer sensory delights. Watching drops fall and create shapes on the water’s surface can be mesmeric, while the pull and squelch of rain-soaked mud as it seeps and sucks around your wellies is physically satisfying. Further around at Hawthorn Wood Hide, colourful woodland birds flit and feed among shady tree branches, bringing movement and gentle, calming noises with them.The floor-to-ceiling window in the centre of the hide also allows extra light to flood in on sunny days and provides close-up views for wheelchair users or buggies. You’re never too young to start your birdwatching journey! During late winter and early spring, waterbirds gathering on our saline lagoon and Wader Lake make for a fantastic auditory experience, with their unique honks, whistles, squeaks and quacks. Listen to these select few and then see what you can identify the next time you spend time down there https://bit.ly/winterbirdcalls Right now, red-listed lapwing can be heard from the reedbed at the back of our duckery; their drawn-out ‘peewit’ calls filling the air as they dive and roll through the sky. Stop a moment and listen out for the gentle rustle and sway of the reeds too (with the promise of warbler calls if you return in summer). Late winter may not be the best season for smelling flowers, but you can still practice being mindful and pick up different fragrances if you focus – the leaves of an evergreen tree, the delicate floral notes of an early crocus, the smell of the earth when it rains after a dry spell. This scent even has a special name: petrichor. In spring, 'coconutty' gorse bushes are at their peak (a distinctive scent, experienced very strongly by some individuals but weakly by others!) and in summer, our wildflower meadows offer vibrant hues for the eyes and subtle sounds for the ears, including the swish of grass blowing in the breeze and the gentle crackle of yellow rattle. Pause or sit awhile on the seat along the path edge, close your eyes and let the sun warm your skin as you breathe deeply and just ‘be’.Outside of our visitor centre, bees buzz in large numbers through the lavender bushes and are delightful to watch. Gently brush the flower heads with your finger tips as you pass and inhale their powerful aroma. The planting in our Close Encounters and rain garden exhibits is carefully designed to be both colourful and heavily scented when in bloom, while the striking feathers of duck species including eider and mandarin provide interesting visual contrast in winter, as they start to look their best ahead of breeding season. Our woodlands are home to an array of plant species all year round and a wander through them isalways a hit on the senses. Turn off the main path into Hollowood and sense the shift in light as the tall trees close in and stretch upwards around you, altering the air movement and pushing bird sounds to the fore with twitters, chirrups and cries echoing overhead. In autumn, leaves and pine cones provide crunchy noises and differing textures underfoot. Spring gill wood is carpeted with beautiful bluebells in spring, joined by the garlicky scent of ramsons. The ancient freshwater spring that tumbles and falls through the wood on its way to the River Wear is the oldest part of site and adds sparkling sounds to the scene. The ponds of our collection birds also have their own watery soundtrack, as they trickle and flow through the pens to join the river. On sunny days, the light hits their surfaces at different angles, split by tree branches and foliage, adding to the sense of movement as our ducks dabble and dive. A brilliant display just waiting to be witnessed or captured on camera. In our Water Lab, the physical power of water is visible and audible with every turn of the giant water wheel that sits in front of the building – fun for children and adults alike.And in the warmer months, a stroll along the river path to our dragonfly ponds is not to be missed. Species including common darter, emperor and southern hawker can be both seen and heard on the wing, lacing through the grass and skimming the pond edges.Find your ‘sit spot’ Visiting the same area of site over and over again and sitting in quiet awareness might not seem the most exciting thing to do, but finding your ‘sit spot’ can help you gain a better understanding of the wild world around you; or at least one small part of it. Seasonal changes, comings and goings of wildlife, the impact of the weather – all of these can be experienced more roundly by repeatedly spending time in the same space, as often as possible. Make sure your spot is safe and sheltered from potential elements, get comfortable, turn off your devices and be as silent as you can. Go through a checklist of your senses. What can you see or hear or feel? Can you sketch what you’re experiencing or make notes to compare with future visits? Aim to spend at least 15 minutes at a time in your spot. This allows you to relax into your surroundings and start absorbing them. Then each time you return, note what is different. New species, new colours, new smells, new sounds? This technique can be used when visiting any outdoor space and our wetlands and woodlands is full of potential spots! Once you find yours, you’ll be amazed by how much more you notice, experience and learn to appreciate the amazing nature that surrounds you.

LEGO® Brick Wetland Safari and Workshops

LEGO® Brick Wetland Safari and Workshops

Go on a LEGO® Brick Wetland Safari this spring or join exciting interactive workshops

Otter enrichment reaches a new level

Otter enrichment reaches a new level

Our resident otter family are enjoying lots of new enrichment activities as part of a plan being introduced by our keepers. Mimi, Musa and Buster have started a newly formed enrichment plan put together by our living collection team, which will offer them increased mental and physical stimulation in their environment, bringing in different ways of feeding, fresh bedding and interesting new smells into their home.Some of the interesting enrichment ideas the team will be trying in the coming weeks include the use of various crates placed or hung around the exhibit. These will be packed with straw bedding and lots of hidden food for them to find. Another idea is a KerPlunk style game with willow sticks and fishy treats. As well as physical enrichment materials, the team will also be introducing a variety of new smells for them to experience. Herbs such as rosemary, basil and mint, as well as various mild spices including cinnamon and nutmeg will be diluted and sprayed in different areas of the exhibit - how very spa-esque! These new smells will spur on their natural inquisitive behaviour and offer them more sensory interests to explore.Keeper Ptoli explains,In the wild, Asian short-clawed otters would be coming into contact with new sights, sounds and smells every single day, in the form of plant life and other animal scents. For us to add new things for them to experience and recreate an environment that will increase their exploratory behaviour, in a positive way, as well as keep them physically fit, healthy and entertained is time well spent.We can't wait to share the results of these new otter enrichment tools with you in the coming weeks, but in the meantime keep an eye out for these fun new additions on your next visit!

Make a splash and jump into nature at the North East Puddle Jumping Championships!

Make a splash and jump into nature at the North East Puddle Jumping Championships!

Who will make the biggest splash and be a puddle jumping champion? Join us this February half-term at Washington Wetland Centre, as children and adults alike grab their wellies and jump into nature for our annual puddle jumping championships – guaranteed fun whatever the North East weather!Warm up in the puddle jumping practice zone before challenging your family and friends to a race around our Welly Boot Camp obstacle course, complete with a splashtastic puddle jumping finale to show off your creativity.Take a shot at our welly shy or Froggy Fling bean bag toss – who will score the most points? – before having a go at hands-on crafts in the Education Barn (drop-in sessions 1-2.30pm, small costs apply).What better way to blow away the winter cobwebs, release everyday stress and connect to nature than having a splashing day outdoors together?WWT Washington centre manager Gill Pipes said: “We know people love nothing more than jumping in puddles, so we’re giving visitors of all ages the chance to channel their inner splasher and enjoy some gentle competition with this fun event.“We also believe that children who love puddles can grow up to be adults that love nature, so through these championships we’re gently nurturing a passion that may help protect wetlands and the wildlife that depends on them for years to come. “As well as being great fun to jump in, puddles are also mini-wetlands that small wildlife use to feed, drink and bathe. Almost half of the world’s plants and animals depend on wetlands, they really are amazing!”Puddle jumping is self-led throughout the day during February half-term (Sat 19-Sun 27 Feb). Just pick up an activity guide at the admissions desk and have a splashingly good time. Look out for a fab competition to enter too!Included as part of normal admission or free for WWT members (small cost for crafts). Admission tickets can be pre-booked here https://bit.ly/WAadmissionShare your splashes at #puddlejumping

He did it! Photographer Alex Ditch achieves his birdwatching dream

He did it! Photographer Alex Ditch achieves his birdwatching dream

Did you watch Alex and his journey to find the elusive kingfisher?

Local visually impaired photographer's wetland journey to star in BBC's Winterwatch

Local visually impaired photographer's wetland journey to star in BBC's Winterwatch

Local photographer Alex Ditch is fulfilling his goal to appear in BBC's Winterwatch Alex Ditch, from Sunderland, was born with Bardet Biedl syndrome; a genetic condition which causes a range of physical issues, including blindness. The passionate 25-year-old has no peripheral vision and describes his eyesight as ‘like a dot’ compared to the norm. But this doesn't deter him from getting outdoors, exploring nature and enjoying the diverse habitats of WWT Washington Wetland Centre. With his camera in tow, he sets out to photograph his favourite subjects - birds - along with support from his mum, Pam. © BBC | Alex and him mum Pam, Washington Wetland Centre My mum is my main carer when I’m out and about, and with my camera. When I know what I want to photograph, I can feel around my camera as I know where all the buttons are. I ask for help when I need it to check my focus etc, as sometimes I’m not sure if it’s my eyes or the lens which is the issue. © Alex Ditch | Bullfinch at Hawthorn hide, Washington Wetland Centre Because of his sight loss, Alex uses his other senses to immerse himself into nature, listening more intently to the sounds of birds and other wildlife. I know in my mind what kind of a picture I am trying to take and WWT has all of this for me. Alex is a regular visitor to Wearside wetland reserve, WWT Washington Wetland Centre. He enjoys the familiarity of the reserve and knowing it very well, often visits with him mum to experience nature and challenge himself with taking photos of birds. His favourite spots are saline lagoon and Hawthorn hide, where he has experienced many firsts, including his first jay, which he was thrilled to get photos of. There are so many different trails to walk and hides to visit, there is always something different to see.

Falcated ducks show off their plumage!

Falcated ducks show off their plumage!

It's been almost 7 month since our falcated ducks hatched in our specialist on-site duckery, but oh how grown up they've become! Our falcated ducks have gone through quite a transformation since hatching in early July last year (2021). Their fluffy downy feathers were incredibly cute and while they had subtle differences to other ducklings, they appeared to most to be the traditional yellow and brown ducklings that you would expect to see from many other duck species. BUT, their true plumage comes through once they reach adulthood and, at 6 months old, the plumage of the male of the species truly come into its own. Closely related to gadwall and of similar size, falcated ducks are are dabbling ducks, so you can regularly see them ducking their heads underwater with their bottoms in the air searching for food under the surface of ponds and lakes. Appearance The females, like many duck species, are a variation of neutral browns with a slightly darker head and pale neck line. The males show an impressive iridescent "crown" with colours of copper and green. Their long 'tertials', (flight feathers) at the bottom of their wings are long, almost hook-shaped. They raise their crest when flirting with females, which makes for very impressive viewing and generally they provide fantastic photo opportunities. Where to view falcated ducks at WWT Washington Our falcated ducks are in Close Encounters, which is a 2 minute walk from the visitor centre. Alongside our resident common eiders, red shovelers, smew, goldeneye and black swans, they make a fantastic addition to this busy exhibit. They're very placid and friendly often found near the waterfall - the team think this may disturb the mud in that area and bring up tasty insects to snack on! In the wild These birds breed in many parts of east Asia, including Russia, China and Japan, wintering in southeast India. There is some conservation work being carried out for this species by various organisations. Like many species, they face threats in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss and are classed as near threatened. There is some positive news that their numbers for now appear to be stable, so fingers crossed things stay this way! We'd love to see your photos of our falcated ducks, so feel free to share them with us on social media @wwtwashington

Centre is now open as of 1 Jan 2022

Centre is now open as of 1 Jan 2022

We are pleased to that we are now reopen as of Saturday 1 January 2022 and can’t wait to welcome you back. We’ve have been working with the relevant government agencies and taking measures to protect our birds and to prevent the spread of the disease after avian influenza was confirmed in one of our exhibits. Protecting the birds in our care and those seeking winter refuge on our reserve remains our utmost priority. Whilst we are very pleased to be able to open again to visitors, one small section of our site must remain closed temporarily (see map below for details). This is a UK Government requirement to help us protect the birds here and prevent the spread of avian influenza. Please rest assured that our expert team are continuing to take very good care of all of our animals, including our flamingos and other birds within the closed section. Visitors can still see our other birds and family of Asian short clawed otters and our wild reserve is open as usual with access to Wader Lake, saline lagoon and Hawthorn Wood hides. Read our winter highlights blog for some ideas on places to go and wildlife to look out for during your visit. We have created a map of suggested routes so you can still enjoy our site at this wonderful time of year (shown below) and this can be picked up at our admissions desk. We also have some free spotters guides at admissions which showcase the wild birds you can see across site. Our café will be open with a selection of hot and cold drinks and snacks and our gift shop is also open. We can’t wait to see you all and would like to thank everyone once again for your kindness and support. Read more about Avian Influenza on the UK Government website(Please note that for the meantime, there will be no otter or flamingo talks and we are currently unable to allow any feeding of our birds)

Winter wildlife spotting hints and tips

Winter wildlife spotting hints and tips

Winter in our wetlands is a truly wonderful place. Leaf-bare trees provide fantastic views of flitting woodland birds, while waders forage and feast in our many lakes, ponds and streams Below are some hints and tips on how and where to see the various fauna that calls our wetlands home this winter Woodland wildlife Hawthorn Wood hide is nestled on the edge of the woods and enjoys fantastic views of various birds including great-spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, chaffinch, blue tit, bullfinch and many more. Our feeders are topped up regularly all year round and many birds flit and forage around the trees and on the ground for food. Now is a great time of year to spot flocking long-tailed tit, siskin and redpoll who make the most of the feeders. The Lookout is a large, open bird-spotting screen hidden in middle wood. This is about 100m walk from our much-loved Hawthorn Wood hide and offers just as much wildlife action. Bullfinch, great tit, coal tit, willow tit, chaffinch, robin, nuthatch, great-spotted woodpecker, dunnock and many seasonal highlights happily flit around this area, providing fantastic photography opportunities with regularly topped-up bird feeders and natural perches, as well as some peaceful time in nature. Our centre feeders – just outside the building’s exit doors to the east of site – are regularly visited by many species of woodland bird including bullfinch, great tit, chaffinch, dunnock and more. It can get quite busy, with opportunistic sparrowhawk known to descend upon the area to hunt. Hollowood is a haven for woodland birds too. While many visitors use it simply as a walk-through to other areas, if you take the time to stop and listen, you can hear so much calling and song, and you begin to notice that the trees are bustling with life. Treecreeper, wren, blackbird, robin, collared dove and wood pigeon are often around and can be both heard and seen regularly. The lack of leaves on trees offers more opportunity to great views, so eyes peeled! Spring Gill woods and the surrounding meadows enjoys wonderful sights and sounds of winter wildlife. The calming sounds of the stream adds to the atmosphere while many birds frequent the tree tops with jay squabbling, blackbird calling and other over-wintering thrushes such as redwing and fieldfare search for berries. Roe deer pass through here too, so keep an eye out for those bright white rumps bounding through the trees! Waders and water birds Wader Lake wildlife hides offer a fantastic place to watch wading birds. The heron hedge opposite Paddy Fleming and Diageo hides is a great one to keep an eye on at this time of year, with the hopes that grey heron will begin to frolick and nest in January. Exciting views of snipe, teal, wigeon, shoveler and curlew are not to be missed at this time of year. Northumbrian Water hide overlooks the lake with Wader meadow right beside it where many geese and red-listed lapwing can be seen. Look out for mistle thrush on the meadow too! Window on the Wear affords great views of the river Wear, with goosander, grey heron, cormorant, curlew, redshank and various sandpipers often spotted by the shoreline.Mute swan can be seen and kingfisher too; their vibrant blue plumage speeding along just above the water's surface. High tides sometimes bring Eurasian otter sightings, as well as the odd grey seal, so watch out for those. The area around our River Viewpoint (just along from Northumbrian Water hide) has lovely views up to the saline lagoon and downstream towards the coast. During low tide, you may see tracks in the mud just below the railings, quite often belonging to otter. Waders like to make the most of the exposed mud, with species such as curlew and redshank using their longer bills to hunt for invertebrates and crustaceans beneath the surface. Saline Lagoon hide is a great spot to sit and enjoy this unique habitat and its incredible wildlife. At this time of year, the lagoon welcomes teal, shoveler and shelduck as well as elusive kingfisher that perch on the various branches around the lagoon. There are so many amazing wildlife moments to be had during the winter months. It's a great time to explore new routes, spot new wildlife and absorb all that nature on your doorstep has to offer!

Avian influenza - centre update

Avian influenza - centre update

Cases of avian influenza are widespread in Great Britain and we have sadly had a confirmed case in our collection birds at Washington Wetland Centre. We are working with the relevant government agencies and are taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease. We will be reopening to visitors early in the new year. Once we open the centre, some areas of our animal collection will remain closed. This is a UK Government requirement to help us protect the birds here and prevent the spread of avian influenza amongst them. Our wild reserve will be open as usual with normal access to Wader Lake, saline lagoon and Hawthorn Wood hides. We know it may be disappointing not to be able to see some of our collection animals, but there will still be some fantastic sights to see and birds to find out on our reserve. We will share further opening information as soon as we are able to. Read more about Avian Influenza on the UK Government website

Give the gift that gives back to nature this Christmas

Give the gift that gives back to nature this Christmas

Make WWT gift membership top of your list this festive season

The art in autumn leaves

The art in autumn leaves

Autumn is the time of year we see a dramatic change of colour within nature. But the science behind it is really quite clever...

75-year milestone for WWT

75-year milestone for WWT

From saving birds from extinction to creating amazing nature-friendly habitats, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) – parent charity of Washington Wetland Centre – today celebrates 75 years of ground breaking conservation work and sharing the wonders of wetlands with more than 40 million visitors across the UK. 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, while creating and protecting thousands more hectares of wetlands around the world, supported by some 180,000 members. Here at Washington Wetland Centre, Sir Peter achieved his goal of bringing wetlands into an urban environment for the benefit of both wildlife and humans, opening our doors in May 1975. Today, we are home to 42 hectares of diverse habitats supporting a range of incredible wildlife and have engaged some 2.5 million visitors and 250,000 schoolchildren across the North East in the vital work that we do. Read more about our achievements to date here. WWT Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Peberdy, said: “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. “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.” Building on the passion of Sir Peter, WWT is now drawing on seven decades of experience to ensure wetlands are 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 this through international conservation projects 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. 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 engagementWorking on action plans for over 30 threatened and declining wetland species and the wetlands on which they dependThrough understanding their value for wetland birds, helping 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 spending the winter at our UK sites “When we look back we realise what an enormous amount we have achieved”, added Kevin. “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.”