Wetland centre to reopen wildlife hides and café

Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech, has announced people will once again be able to view wildlife from inside its hides.

Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech, has announced people will once again be able to view wildlife from inside its hides. - Credit: Bob Ellis

A Norfolk wetland centre is set to reopen its wildlife hides and café next week.

Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech, has announced people will once again be able to view wildlife from inside its popular hides and the multi-level observatory from Monday, May 17.

Welney's Wigeon café will also be able to offer indoor seating for visitors for the first time since last summer.

Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech, has announced people will once again be able to view wildlife from inside its hides.

Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech, has announced people will once again be able to view wildlife from inside its hides. - Credit: Bob Ellis

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WTT) site has four hides, a main observatory, and other outdoor wildlife viewing points.

Centre manager Leigh Marshall said: “We know how important the hides are to so many of our visitors and we can’t wait for people to return to them.

“As spring turns to summer, this is a fantastic time of the year to spot birds including black-tailed godwit, bittern and sedge warbler, as well as other wildlife like dragonflies, damselflies and wildflowers.  

"Our hides provide views over our pools, in addition to the variety of opportunities our footpaths and screens already give.

Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech, has announced people will once again be able to view wildlife from inside its hides.

Welney Wetland Centre, near Wisbech, has announced people will once again be able to view wildlife from inside its hides. - Credit: Emma Brand

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“We have traditional wooden hides looking out onto pools and close to reeds, the larger main hide with comfortable seating and panoramic views of the Washes.

"The addition of hides means more chances for everyone to view wildlife how they feel comfortable, including families, photographers, keen bird-watchers or just anyone wanting to escape from the unpredictable British weather.” 

The hides are said to be popular with photographers who use them to capture "intimate wildlife moments" including courtship rituals, feeding young and preening.

Aerial view of WWT at Welney.

Aerial view of WWT at Welney. - Credit: Comission Air

Wigeon café, which will also reopen on Monday, offers a selection of hot and cold food, snacks, cakes, drinks and ice-cream.

The centre said it will be enforcing social distancing and other guidelines to "keep everyone safe" across the site, including inside the hides.

Numbers allowed onsite are restricted and all visitors are being asked to pre-book tickets including those who visit for free such as members, children under four and carers.

During the pandemic, WWT took part in a nature challenge to encourage children to explore the natural world around them to get their "wellbeing fix" as sites were closed to the public.

To book tickets visit wwt.org.uk/welney

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