Washington Wetland Centre visitors can get even closer to nature as restrictions ease on Monday, May 17

Visitors to Washington Wetland Centre will be able to get even closer to wildlife from Monday, May 17.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 4:55 am

The nature hub has been open since April 12, but with restrictions in place. With further easing from Monday, May 17 visitors will again be able to use the hides – small buildings from which people can watch the animals without scaring them away.

The hides at Hawthorn Wood, Wader Lake and the saline lagoon will welcome people back for the first time since last summer.

Covid measures still in place include social distancing, limited numbers, mask wearing and plastic screens dividing the hides into households. This is to keep everyone safe and allow the use of shared space.

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With spring now blooming at the 103-acre site it’s an ideal time to see wildlife in action; including elaborate courtship rituals, nest building and chicks hatching.

Washington Wetland Centre has been given the “Good to Go” stamp of approval, which means the site is working within Government guidelines and public health guidance.

Visitor numbers remain restricted and a booking system is in place for all visitors, including members, essential helpers and children under 4. There are also hand sanitisers across the site, accessible outdoor toilets and baby change facilities.

The cafe is open with a small amount of indoor seating, plus a variety of picnic tables and benches across the centre.

There will be fewer restrictions for visitors at Washington Wetland Centre from May 17.

Centre manager Gill Pipes said: “We know how important the hides are to so many of our visitors – from birdwatchers and photographers to young first-time enthusiasts or just anyone wanting to escape the unpredictable British weather – and we can’t wait for people to return to them.

“We have traditional wooden hides looking out onto habitats crammed full of spectacular wildlife at Wader Lake and Hawthorn Wood, as well as the larger discovery hide at the Saline Lagoon for a more panoramic view.

“As spring turns to summer, this is a fantastic time to spot birds such as avocet and common tern on Wader Lake and our hides offer stunning close-up viewing opportunities as well as some of the best chances to get great wildlife shots.”

The hides can be used by members of a household. WWT image.

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Inside a hide. WWT image.