Experience the new life of Easter as spring’s baby animals arrive
Easter holiday fun at WWT Centres
Easter isn’t all about chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil, it’s also the time when Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) Wetland Centres across the UK come alive. Celebrate the thrill of new life as eggs begin to hatch and cute ducklings, cygnets and goslings emerge. They signal the start of the Easter holidays and a fun-packed programme of activities and events at WWT centres for all the family to enjoy.
WWT’s nine wetland centres across the UK will all be offering something different: from exciting Easter egg hunts, den-building and Easter arts and crafts activities, there’s something new and lively to entertain children of all ages. Join WWT Caerlaverock (Dumfriesshire) for an evening watching wild badgers 1- 14 April, or WWT Castle Espie (Northern Ireland) between 29 March and 7 April for their Giant Easter Bunny Hunt. Take to our watery world in a canoe at WWT Martin Mere (Lancashire) from 27 March or on our guided electric boats at WWT Arundel and see how many babies you can spot.
Each centre introduces adults and children alike to the wonders of wetland wildlife and their habitats, with stunning scenery and nose-to-beak encounters with some of the world’s most dramatic and rare birds, as well as exciting mammals and reptiles too. Every centre has excellent restaurants and gift shops and all have family friendly and disabled facilities.
Activities at WWT Centres during Easter 2013 include;
WWT Caerlaverock T 01387 770200 Dumfriesshire, Scotland Stars and Stripes Badger Watching, Monday 1st April to Sunday 14th April – Watch wild Badgers feeding just outside our comfortable observatory. 8pm. Fair-trade tea and coffee available. Booking essential, tickets must be paid for in advance. Adults £7.50, Conc. £5, Children £2.50. Refreshments included.
Guide in the Hide, Wednesdays 3rd & 10th April and Sundays 7th & 14th – An expert will be in the Peter Scott Observatory to point out the different birds on display. Normal admission charges apply, WWT members free.
Birding for Beginners, Sunday 7th April 1pm to 4pm – Learn the hints and tips from the experts to get the most out of your bird watching. Bring binoculars if you have them and a notebook and pencil. Booking essential, normal admission rates apply, WWT members free.
Morning round with the Warden, Sunday 14th April, 8am -10am – Join the reserve warden on his morning rounds. A behind the scenes look at his daily routine, checking the reserve to see what’s around and feeding the birds. Booking essential, normal admission rates apply, WWT members free.
WWT Washington T 0191 416 5454 Tyne & Wear Saturday 23 March-Sunday 7 April – Easter holidays – Join us for family-friendly fun throughout the Easter holidays! Discover new life and nature blooming all around, including baby chicks that have hatched from real Easter eggs.
Take part in craft activities in the Discovery Centre every day from 1-3pm (make a mini garden, colour a fan or design a coaster, small costs apply) and join in the Easter Sunday rubber duck hunt around the grounds (11am-3pm, free with admission).
Plus, bring your own hard-boiled egg to decorate and create a creature, with a prize for the craziest (every day, 1-3pm, £1), and go pond dipping in the Pondzone area (11am-noon and 1-2pm every day, free with admission).
WWT Martin Mere T 01704 895181 Lancashire From 27 March, Canoe Safari opens – a fun and interactive way to watch nature from the water. The canoe fits 3 people (must have one person over the age of 18) and the charge is £5 per canoe.
From 27 March, Guided Boat tours offer a guided tour experience on the water to watch for wildlife through reedbed, woodland and grassland. The tour takes approximately 20 minutes and costs £2 per seat.
General talks: Watch our otter family feed and play at 11.30am and 2.30pm whilst enjoying a commentated talk; take part in a guided tour of our waterfowl gardens at 1pm; learn all about our flamingos in our daily talk at 12.45pm.
Theme for Easter – Treasure! Take part in a variety of orienteering and geo-cache trails to find wetland treasures.
Easter Sunday – Take part in our giant plastic duck hunt. Find plastic ducks scattered around our grounds and win a prize for each duck found as well as taking part in egg rolling and Easter bonnet making.
WWT London Wetland Centre T 020 8409 4400 Barnes Easter wouldn’t be complete without eggs, so bring your own brood along to WWT London Wetland Centre join in with our fun Egg-tivities. With springtime games and Easter crafts, they’ll enjoy themselves but will also be learning more about the natural world. Our pond dipping sessions are always popular: grab a net and see what’s swimming around under the surface of the water. And children also love our play areas: the outdoor Explore, undercover Pond Zone and indoor Discovery Centre, which are also wildlife and wetland themed.
Enjoy a refreshing springtime walk in London’s urban oasis. Step away from the bustle of the city and enter a different world: wander among the willows, reeds and lakes and see how wetland wildlife prepares for spring. You’ll hear birds singing and calling around the reserve as they declare their territories and try to attract a mate. Many waterbirds will be building or settling on their nests and insects will be pollinating the early flowers such as the bright yellow marsh marigolds. Visit the playful otters and our collection of exotic wildfowl in World Wetlands, and join a guided tour to find out more about the Centre’s wildlife and WWT’s important conservation work.
WWT National Wetland Centre Wales, T 01554 741087 Carmarthenshire Friday 29 March – Sunday 14 April – Daily activities – 11am: den building and mini pond dipping 1pm: breeding and baby birds walk; 2.30pm: Pond dipping; Craft workshops – times vary – Easter nests, willow dream catchers; Easter egg hunt – self-led outdoors in the grounds.
WWT Castle Espie T 028 9187 4146 County Down, Northern Ireland Giant Easter Bunny Hunt, 29 March – 7 April Get a roll on this Easter with lots of events and activities. Search for the large coloured bunnies hidden around the site. Map and clues provided. Prizes for all children upon completion of the trail. Doodle Bunnies leave your mark on our bunny board, free bunny crafts. Time: 11am – 4pm. Included in cost of admission.
Duck Tales, every weekend in March and April What whistles and doesn’t quack? Find out more about the fascinating birds in our captive collection. Time: 12noon & 2pm. Price included in cost of admission
Birdwatch Morning, 28 March Join Dot Blakely, our resident bird expert and find out more about all types of birds in and around the grounds. Everyone welcome. Time: 10.30am and included in cost of admission.
WWT Arundel T 01903 883355 West Sussex March 29 – April 14: New Life! – Celebrate spring with a visit to see rare cygnets and goslings during the Easter holidays. Families can follow the bunny trail around the reserve, go pond dipping or create a craft in the visitor centre each afternoon. The Wetland Discovery Boat Safari runs every day. As a special event on April 3 & 10 the Arundel Youth theatre will perform selections from Wind in the Willows and interact with visitors around the grounds in character. All activities are included in centre admission. WWT Arundel Wetland Centre, Mill Road, Arundel BN18 9PB Call 01903 881530 for event information.