Martin Mere Wetland Centre

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Nestled on the Lancashire coast is one of the jewels in Britain’s crown of conservation. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust maintain one of the country’s premier conservation sites, offering safe refuge to dozens of species of wildfowl and wildlife at Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

Photo by Stephen Gidley

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) began in 1946 when Peter Scott opened the first conservation centre in Slimbridge. Peter was the son of the famous Antarctic explorer Captain Robert F. Scott, an Olympic sailing medallist, and a renowned writer and broadcaster who recognised the importance of marshland and its wildlife to Britain’s ecology. His trust grew to open many sites across the country, and Martin Mere in Lancashire is one of the trust’s most successful sites.

Famed for Flamingos

Martin Mere is a large site that offers a habitat for a huge number of bird species, many migrating from across the world to visit Martin Mere, but none are more famous than the Flamingos.

These beautiful birds began as seasonal visitors to the park decades ago, migrating to the North from their African and South American habitats. Now there are some flocks that call Martin Mere home for most of the year, enjoying the attention of tourists and visiting school children.

These bright pink exotic birds, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, are quite an unexpected sight on a brisk, Lancashire day, and have become one of the most popular attractions, and something of an unofficial mascot for Martin Mere.

A Wonderful Wintertime Experience

If you are looking for somewhere to visit during the winter, especially if you have children, then Martin Mere is the perfect destination.

As many of the world’s rarest bird species migrate to Martin Mere for the winter, the wetland centre sees a huge surge in population. Many species of geese, including Arctic Snow Geese and Pink Toed Geese descend on the area in huge numbers. Through the winter months, the skies above this part of Lancashire are filled with squadrons of geese flying in their ‘V formation’ as this mass-migration of wildfowl takes place, with all of them looking to make a pit stop on their journey at Martin Mere.

There is More Than Just the Birds

The Martin Mere Wetland Centre is home to more than just an amazing collection of ducks, geese and yes, the flamingos. Its collection of gardens, reedbeds and marshes provides a habitat for thousands of species of flora and fauna.

Taking just one of the many trails that weave through the wetland can lead you to all kinds of discoveries and points of interest. There are many ‘hides’ dotted through the area, letting you quietly observe a huge variety of species in their natural habitats.

Britain is blessed with an ecological diversity that provides a habitat to thousands of native species, and temporary homes for many migrating species. The Martin Mere Wetland Centre is the perfect destination for exotic birds and tourists alike, all year around. If you are considering visiting the North of England, make sure Martin Mere in Lancashire is on your list of places to visit.

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