Located just a 20-minute walk from Hammersmith Station is the wonderful London Wetland Centre. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover this labyrinth of recreated UK wetland habitat and its wildlife.
No matter the time of year you plan to visit, a whole new world of discovery awaits. This 105-acre nature reserve offers an ever-changing landscape for a wealth of animal and plant life 🍂
With daily activities such as otter talks and bird feeding, as well as three-storey panoramic views of the reserve from the Peacock Tower, there’s plenty to get your teeth into – just like this cheeky chap!
Q&A with London Wetland Centre
We wanted to learn more about the wonderful wildlife that inhabits the WWT London Wetland Centre. So we spoke to Learning Manager Paul Lawston and Angus Wilkinson, a Senior Reserve Warden, to find out about what it’s like working behind the scenes, and what to look out for as a visitor! 🪲
What does a day at work normally look like for you?
Paul: Obviously it really varies, but during term-time I spend a lot of time working with schools, teaching children about the importance of nature. During school holidays we run activities for family groups, so there’s a lot of preparation and admin that goes along with it all.
Angus: Sometimes its counting butterflies and birds, sometimes its putting on waders and jumping in lakes! Work days here can be very variable and change dramatically with the seasons too.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
Paul: Meeting all the children from around London who visit the centre and seeing their reaction to our wetland habitats and their wildlife. For some, this will be the first time they’ve visited a nature reserve or even a green-space like this!
Angus: Besides gaining a deeper understanding of bird behaviour, I also love learning about wild wetland plants and their historical applications!
What’s your favourite animal that can be found at the centre?
Paul: I especially love the bats that come here after the sun goes down – our Thursday bat walks in August are some of my favourite events of the year. 🦇
Angus: My favourite animals that can be found at the centre are the swifts! They are such wonderful flyers and have given me some truly magical moments, working out on the lakes as they fly around me.
What role does sustainability play in your job?
Paul: We try to be as sustainable as possible in our choices, and we promote sustainability through our learning programmes.
Angus: Firstly, we are always trying to encourage native species to thrive at the centre, as this means less work will be needed to support our wildlife in the long run. Also, we are also moving onto electric machinery, and use it at every opportunity.
What’s something people shouldn’t miss when they visit London Wetland Centre?
Paul: A walk through the reedbeds – in summer, they’re full of visiting warblers and in the winter, if the sun is out, they glow a beautiful golden colour.
Angus: The Wildside wild flowers throughout the summer are simply stunning, with dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies whizzing amongst them. Also, don’t forget to visit the Peacock Tower as it is one of the best locations for bird watching in London and shouldn’t be missed! 🦚
See more wildlife and nature in London!
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