WWT Wetland Centre, Cotswolds, England
Responsible travel: WWT Wetland Centre, Cotswolds, England
We have been managing the Reserve at WWT Slimbridge for many years ensuring we are providing suitable habitats for a diverse range of birds, mammals, insects and plants.
In recent years we have worked on projects to improve the habitat of the area for Water voles and we have seen a heartening comeback for his wetland mammal.
We are also part of the Great Crane Project alongside the RSPB rearing cranes here at WWT Slimbridge for release into the wild in Somerset. This project is proving a great success and will enhance the landscape of the South West for future generations.
We recycle waste on the site and show visitors ways to conserve water. Our recently opened RBC Rain Garden, which was one of the Chelsea Show Gardens is a valuable tool as they can see firsthand how beautiful and practicality can run side-by-side. In the garden every drop of rain is utilised in the ponds and planting beds, showing how a sustainable garden can work.
As a key attraction in the area we support local accommodation providers by keeping a list of nearby providers so we can pass this onto people coming to the area.
We work with other attractions in the area raising the profile of this beautiful part of the country.
We provide spaces for free to local community groups allowing them to benefit from having us on their doorstep. Some of these groups include Slimbridge Primary School and the Slimbridge Scouts.
We also help organisations who come to us with any wildlife queries. Our work is varied, for example, last year our wildlife experts trained police officers in how to correctly handle swans when they land on motorways. This can help clear roads and most importantly ensures the swan doesn't cause itself any further injury when trying to take off on a hard surface.
This is just one example of the kind of things we are help with!
We communicate the importance of wetlands to our visitors and give practical tips on how everyone can make a difference by conserving water and habitats even at home. This might be a simple as keeping a water butt or creating log piles and garden ponds.
We engage visitors in the work we do on the Reserve through our various events. One of the key ones in the Land Rover safari in which a wildlife expert takes people out onto the reserve so they can see firsthand our local conservation work.
We also have interpretation on the site explaining how our reedbed system works which is a natural way of cleansing water. In all our walks and talks our staff pass on messaging about our conservation work and the importance of wetlands to people and wildlife.
The story of the provider of WWT Wetland Centre, Cotswolds, England
WWT Slimbridge was founded by the conservationist Sir Peter Scott who recognised how valuable the area was to wintering birds.
Over the years we have been following his vision by creating and maintaining rich habitats for wildlife and welcoming and enthusing visitors in wetlands and our work.
Slimbridge is the original Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust site and is still the headquarters of the charity.
There are now eight other WWT Centres which you can visit in the UK.
Our WWT centres are all different but were created with the same aim of connecting people and wildlife for the good of both.