37. Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Swans in front of the observation tower at Slimbridge.
Hundreds of geese waiting to be fed on an icy day at Slimbridge.Slimbridge is a wetland reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) near Slimbridge in Gloucestershire on the estuary of the River Severn.

Opened in 1946 by the artist and naturalist Sir Peter Scott, Slimbridge was the first WWT reserve to be opened.

The Sloane Observation Tower gives far-reaching views to the Cotswold escarpment in the east and the River Severn and Forest of Dean in the west. The centre has a shop, restaurant, art gallery and Tropical House.

The site is 120 acres of reserve, of which 500,000 square metres is landscaped and can be visited by the public.

The number of ducks, geese and swans is greatestA view of some of the wetlands at Slimbridge. in winter, with large flocks of white-fronted geese. Bewick's swans are a feature of Slimbridge in winter, arriving from northern Russia to enjoy the milder climate of southern England.

Birds of prey such as peregrine and merlin also visit the centre in the winter, as well as wading birds and songbirds.

Jane Payne from Evesham, a regular visitor to Slimbridge with her family, said: "Slimbridge is a wonderful place to visit with birds in their natural habitats surrounded by grasses, flowers and other wildlife.

"The view as you enter with the swans isA visiting family feeds some of the resident swans. breathtaking, as is the view from the tower which overlooks the estuary."

Her son, Paul Sparrow, added: "We are members at Slimbridge and every visit is different. There are great displays of the amphibians and the otters and also the new flamingo area is absolutely amazing.

"The large selection of wildfowl is great and also the great conservation work that is done with all the eggs that are being incubated to save certain breeds from becoming extinct.

"Due to the sheer size of the place there are so many different places to visit. During the height of migration when they feed the wild birds at dusk, that is a truly amazing sight."

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust is one of the world’s largest and most respected wetland conservation organisations working globally to safeguard and improve wetlands for wildlife and people.Slimbridge is a paradise for birdwatchers.

More information

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Slimbridge, Gloucestershire GL2 7BT
01453 891900

© Loving The Cotswolds. 2018.