Dissect an owl pellet as part of activities at Welney Wetlands Centre

14:27 30 January 2014

Swans at Welney

Swans at Welney

Archant

A Fen nature centre is calling for people to join them for the chance to help with wildlife surveys to feed into conservation work.

Get involved in a wetlands  survey at WelneyGet involved in a wetlands survey at Welney

The WWT Welney Wetland Centre is taking part in World Wetlands Day which is the chance to recognise the importance of this type of habitat and its benefits for wildlife and humans.

During the day the first ever small mammal survey on Lady Fen will be carried out in an area of wetlands that was recreated from arable farmland six years ago.

Visitors can meet staff and local experts at the centre at 7am to go out and check the traps for shrews, voles and mice.

Booking is advisable for this activity as there are limited places.

Bird watching at WelneyBird watching at Welney

Throughout the day there will be a chance to meet local bird ringers at the centre and observe them recording and ringing any birds caught from 10am – 2pm.

They will have demonstration equipment on site as well to show visitors how and why ringing is important for research, even on some of our most common species.

Join the team for guided walks at 11am and 1pm to find out how farming and conservation can work together and see some of the hares boxing.

Watch a commentated wild swan feed at noon, 3.30pm or 6.30pm to find out about why the relationship between farmland and wetlands is so important for winter visitors.

A rabbit at WelneyA rabbit at Welney

There is also the chance to try your hand at potato printing and owl pellet dissection 2.30-3.15pm in the visitor centre.

Sam Lee, Public Engagement Officer, said: “Wetlands are one of the most biodiverse habitats on earth. They are home to more wildlife and plant species than any other habitat, yet few people realise just how important they are even for us humans.

“Wetlands provide ‘ecosystem services’ which we rely on and take for granted such as filtering water, flood protection, food, raw materials and carbon storage.

Visitors can not only get closer to nature with the activities that we are putting on to celebrate World Wetlands Day but they can enjoy the sense of wellbeing that connecting with wildlife and being outside in a beautiful landscape can offer.”

During World Wetlands Day staff at the centre will be posting updates of the findings onto the WWT Welney Facebook and Twitter pages and will encourage visitors to do the same.

For more information on World Wetlands Day at WWT Welney, including times of activities, please see the website at www.wwt.org.uk/welney or contact the centre on 01353 860711.

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