Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Summer fun at Martin Mere

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Summer is an exciting time at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, with so much to see and do.

Why not bring the family along to enjoy a host of fantastic activities including canoe safaris, boat tours, living history days, pond dipping, den building, arts and craft activities, bug hunts, close encounters, walks and otter talks.

New for 2012: Explore Martin Mere’s brand new adventure play area: Rushes Play Space. You can swing, climb, slide and clamber all over large structures whilst playing in the sand pit, hiding in the giant tree house, sliding along the zip wire or getting wet in the water play.

New for 2012: Enjoy a relaxing boat trip around our wetlands watching for birds, insects and wildflowers. There is disabled access on the boat and the trip lasts for up to 30 minutes around the wet grassland, reedbed and wet woodland.  There is a cost of £2 per seat and the boat will be running everyday between 1pm and 3pm.

From Monday 13 to Friday 31 August Martin Mere opens its Roundhouse Village, Mere Tun to step back in time and experience living history days. You can defend the village, go foraging, see cookery demonstrations, make traditional crafts, be amazed by fire lighting demonstrations and much more. The village will be open from 11.30am to 3.30pm.

Martin Mere 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.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southportto Manchesterand the Liverpoolto Prestonline by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Martin Mere shortlisted for two tourism awards

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WWT Martin Mere has been shortlisted for two Lancashire Tourism Awards through Marketing Lancashire.  The awards celebrate Lancashire’s tourism industry.

Martin Mere has been shortlisted for the following:

Best Large Attraction.

Shortlisted because of continual investment in new award winning attractions such as the canoe safari, boat tours and brand new play area as well as wildlife spectacles through the wintering swans and geese and spring ducklings – making Martin Mere a unique attraction for all ages to enjoy.

Sustainable Tourism Award.

Shortlisted for our continual commitment to sustainable transport including the creation of trails to link local attractions and to reduce car travel to the centre as well as a commitment to educating visitors on how to live more sustainably and to attract wildlife to gardens, and providing best practice techniques on making Martin Mere an eco-attraction.

Centre Manager, Andy Wooldridge, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for two awards this year. These awards are fantastic for giving staff and volunteers a sense of pride in the centre and it is great to know that the investment we have made at Martin Mere in new facilities has really helped towards making us an attraction that can compete to be one of the best in the North West.  To win one of these awards means that we have offered a great value for money day out as well as outstanding customer service and I am hopeful that we will do very well this year.”

The winners of the awards will be announced in September.

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Teddy Bears Picnic event at WWT Martin Mere

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Bring your teddy bears to WWT Martin Mere on Thursday 5 July to take part in a giant Teddy Bears Picnic as part of a joint fundraiser with Claire House Children’s Hospice.

The bears can be big, small, fluffy, cute, old or new, the simple cost of each bear is just £2 (£3.50 for two) and this money goes direct to helping children and young adults with complex medical conditions, as well as their families, receive the support they need.

On the day there will be a huge range of great toddler activities from 11am to 2pm:

  • Meet Claire Bear (Free)
  • Story time at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm & 2pm (Free)
  • Face painting after 12.30pm (£1.50)
  • Visit the duckling nursery between 1pm and 1.45pm (Free)
  • Join in on the plastic duck hunt at 11.30am & 12.30pm (Free)
  • Take a toddler boat tour (£1 per seat)
  • Have a go on our brand new adventure play area throughout the whole day (Free)

To register for the event please call 01704 895181 or email info.martinmere@wwt.org.uk. Why not pre-order your picnic from Martin Mere. Get a mum and toddler picnic box for just £7 (£10 for two toddlers) so you don’t have to do anything in advance, just turn up and have a great day out.

For more information on the charity please visit: http://www.claire-house.org.uk/ or visit www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere for event details.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southportto Manchesterand the Liverpoolto Prestonline by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

 

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

It’s play time at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

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On Saturday 2 June, WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is launching a brand new adventure play area: Rushes Play Space

The play area, a £250K development, involves climbing structures, tree houses, swings, slides, sand pits and waterplay around a central boardwalk for adults to sit and relax in beautiful surroundings.

The design reflects Martin Mere’s focus on the environment and natural play allowing children ages and abilities to play in a social and safe environment. Features include:

  • Mini marshlands – Toddler play space with swings, see-saws, play houses and wobble dishes
  • The wetlands – water play space with dams, bridges and channels to explore
  • Fly like a bird across a cableway
  • The reed bed – giant timber sculptures with nets and ropes for climbing, jumping, sliding and clambering
  • Giant tree house – climb up the nets into the giant tree house and fly down the slide
  • The sand flats – sand play area with playful grassy mounds and smooth boulders

Andy Wooldridge, Centre Manager, said: “The play area we had was so popular with families, but unfortunately it was over 25 years old and due for redevelopment. The new one will a fantastic addition to the Centre and will actively encourage children of all ages playing and interacting together in a more natural environment.”

The concept has been designed by Timber Play, one of the UKs largest play providers who have not only their own design team but a wealth of experience garnered from the UK and Europe.  The design was chosen after a period of visitor consultation last October.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southportto Manchesterand the Liverpoolto Prestonline by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Flamingo chicks hatch at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

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Six greater flamingo chicks have been born at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

Twenty three eggs have been laid so far this year; so the Grounds team are still expecting many more chicks to hatch in the next week for the award winning Downy Duckling Week, starting Saturday 2 June when visitors can watch and interact with the whole egg to duckling process.

The flamingos, traditionally from the Mediterranean and parts of Africa, nest on bark chippings in their enclosure.  They would usually make mud nests in the wild, but they have grown to prefer bark chippings after they were placed on their Island to assist the breeding of the eider ducks, who were found nesting on the chippings under the slide in the children’s play area.

Centre Manager,Andy Wooldridge, said: “All the greater flamingos that are at Martin Mere have been bred and raised in captivity which makes them very friendly and sociable birds, you can get very close and even hand feed them. It is very unusual for the birds to use bark chippings but great that the chicks have hatched close together as they form a crèche; giving the community the opportunity of seeing the parenting skills of the flamingos whilst the chicks are huddled together”.

The Greater Flamingos are one of six species of flamingos found in the world. They are the least vibrant coloured of the six species, being a pale salmon pink.

Flamingos are very social birds which need to be kept together in a large group in order for them to be happy. At Martin Mere there are currently have 57 greater flamingos and they choose the same partners every year.  A single egg is laid by each pair and both the male and female take it in turns to incubate.  Incubation takes approximately 30 days and all chicks are parent-reared as these social youngsters benefit from being with their mum and dad as well as with each other.  In addition, adult flamingos produce a special crop milk to feed their babies on (- pigeons are the only other bird to do this).  The fluffy chicks grow very quickly (up to 2cm a day) and they are fully-fledged by the age of 3 months.  They are usually grey or white in colouring and it takes approximately 2 to 3 years to obtain full pink plumage.

Come and see them during the award winning Downy Duckling Week from Saturday 2 June to Sunday 10 June.  The week is your unique opportunity to see and discover how some of the rarest ducklings in the world develops inside an egg and breaks free from the shell into a young bird that you can meet whilst exploring the duckling nursery.

Activities include:

  • Be amazed to hear and see duck

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Grant success at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

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WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre has been successful in receiving funding from the Lancashire County Council, Local Member Grant Scheme to bring care home residents to Martin Mere for free.

Over the past month, care home residents from all over West Lancashire have been coming to Martin Mere for an experience to help improve their health and wellbeing as well as being educational.  They have had guided walks, had talks on the otters, beavers or swans and simply relaxed outdoors.  Pictured are some residents from Stocks Hall Residential Home along with Councillor May Blake and Ellie Wooldridge from Martin Mere.

Centre Manager, Andy Wooldridge, said: “We have undertaken research that has shown that spending time in the natural environment has a positive effect on mental health, blood pressure, cholesterol, outlook on life and stress-reduction. When we heard about this grant we thought that it was an ideal opportunity to assist care homes in finding the financial support to take residents out on visits that can make a positive difference to their wellbeing and also be mentally stimulating in a safe environment.  We have had fantastic support from the county council and the care homes and we hope this is the start of a long term project to bring vulnerable adults to Martin Mere for free.”

If you would like to get involved in this scheme, please call Victoria on 01704 891240 or email info.martinmere@wwt.org.uk

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Traditional English Longbow course at Martin Mere

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A new workshop is taking place at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May with longbow specialist Tony Saunders, learning how to manipulate and craft wood into one of the most important weapons in British history.

The two day course will include wood craft techniques whilst learning about the history of the longbow and how to use it, making this an ideal course for anyone who would like a practical knowledge of traditional wood carving.

The course will take place in traditional surrounding at the Mere Tun Roundhouse Village.

The cost of the course is £95 for the two days and you must book in advance as there are limited places available, by calling 01704 895181 or emailing info.martinmere@wwt.org.uk

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southportto Manchesterand the Liverpoolto Prestonline by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Common Crane flies into WWT Martin Mere

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For only the third time in 35 years, WWT Martin Mere has welcomed a wild crane to the reserve. The last time a crane was seen at Martin Mere was in 1999 and previously to that was in the 70s.

The adult crane has been on the reserve for 2 days now and is showing well from the Ron Barker Hide.

Centre Manager, Andy Wooldridge, said: “It is fantastic to see a wild crane at Martin Mere and it has attracted the attention of a large number of adults who would never have seen a crane in the wild.  Small numbers of cranes can often be seen in Norfolk, Suffolk, Somerset and on Humberside but it is quite unusual to see them in the North West.”

Cranes have been around for nearly 40 million years. There are 15 species (types) of cranes across the world. Cranes became extinct in the UK around 400 years ago as they were hunted for food and the wetlands they lived in were drained and used for farming.

WWT have been actively involved in the Great Crane Project, aiming to re-establish a sustainable population of the iconic Eurasian Crane to the Somerset Levels and Moors, a traditional stronghold for the species. This will help to secure its future as a British breeding species and will engage the public, landowners and other interested parties with cranes and wider wetland conservation issues.

Phase 1 of the project will involve the release of 100 juvenile Eurasian Cranes (20 per year for five years) between 2010 and 2014.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via theSouthporttoManchesterand theLiverpooltoPrestonline by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Celebrity Mark Carwardine visits WWT Martin Mere

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Celebrity, Mark Carwardine is coming to WWT Martin Mere on Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 May to host an evening talk and creative photography workshops.

Best known for co-presenting the TV series ‘Last Chance to See’ with Stephen Fry, Mark Carwardine is an award-winning writer, TV and radio presenter, zoologist, wildlife photographer and outspoken conservationist.

Evening Talk – Ultimate Wildlife Experiences

Saturday 12 May at 7pm

Mark will talk about his favourite places in the world to watch wildlife. It will be a personal selection of the wildlife hotspots that have made the greatest impact on him over the years.

He’ll wax lyrical about everything from jaguar watching in the Pantanal and bat watching in Zambia to searching for spirit bears in the Great Bear Rainforest to whale watching in his favourite place in the world.  His adventures over the past 30 years are extraordinary; with his with self-deprecating humour and well-developed sense of the ridiculous, this will be a highly entertaining evening.

The evening talk costs £15 per person and you must book in advance by calling 01704 895181.

You will be able to buy copies of Mark’s new book Ultimate Wildlife Experiences and have it signed by him.

Creative Wildlife Photography Workshops

One day workshops on Saturday 12 May & Sunday 13 May

This will be a great day out and a fabulous opportunity to learn loads about wildlife photography in the company of like-minded people.

Mark was Chairman of the Judging Panel of the prestigious Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for seven years (2005-2011) and is an accomplished and well-published photographer in his own right.

The day will include an illustrated talk about some of Mark’s most recent photography projects and trips, a lively, entertaining and informative portfolio review, discussions and lectures about everything from camera settings to creating better pictures, and a practical field session to put all the new tips and hints into practice.

The workshops cost £140 (lunch included) and there are just 11 places per day making this an exclusive event. To book, please call 01704 895181.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southportto Manchesterand the Liverpoolto Prestonline by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

Source Martin Mere (WWT)

Magical Animal Fun at WWT Martin Mere this Easter

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Easter is Animal Magic at Martin Mere and you can get up close and personal to a huge range of weird and wonderful creatures.

Everyday throughout the Easter Holidays there will be different animals for the whole family to enjoy including birds of prey, skunks, meerkats, ferrets, reptiles, hedgehogs, bats and much more. Don’t miss your favourites, click here for further information

But there is plenty to see and do at Martin Mere all through the Easter holidays:

  • Delve into the ponds to see the creatures (Free)
  • Explore the woods to find bugs and creepy crawlies (Free)
  • Be inspired to create a conifer den (Free)
  • Play, climb, balance and swing on the play area by the canoe safari (Free)
  • Hand feed 100 types of rare and endangered water birds (Free)
  • Watch the enchanting otters as they feed and play (Free)
  • Spot the cygnets, ducklings and goslings in the gardens (Free)

In addition, the award winning canoe safari will be re-opening. The self guided canoe safari, is the only activity of its kind regionally, a canoeing experience in a safe, family orientated environment. Over 15,000 people enjoyed the experience in 2011 and it won the Best Visitor Experience category in the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards. There are no age limits or weight restrictions to use the canoes; the only rule is that you fit comfortably into a buoyancy aid.  The cost is £5 per canoe and you can have 3 people in a canoe.

New for 2012

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is launching a brand new guided boat attraction on Saturday 31 March. The guided boat tours will run every day until the end of October offering visitors a tour of wetlands, watching wildlife, spotting dragonflies, listening for warblers, admiring wildflowers and simply enjoying the peace and tranquillity.

There will be a charge of £2 per seat for the tour that will last approximately 40 minutes. There are no age restrictions for the tours and the boat comfortably allows 2 wheelchairs.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.00pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southportto Manchesterand the Liverpoolto Prestonline by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.