The WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is just 6 miles from Ormskirk in Lancashire and is one of the areas top attractions, having been featured on the hit nature TV show Autumnwatch. Before the centre was created the area was a large marsh and was actually the largest body of fresh water in England. The marsh was drained to create the centre, which is now famous for the huge amount of migratory birds that live there during the winter months.
Martin Mere is open all year round and you'll see all kinds of animals at the centre, many of which come and go as they please. Visitors can observe the animals closely by using the bird viewing hides. The centre is also planted with many varieties of traditional Lancashire plants and wildflowers, including a few that are currently in danger of extinction. After your journey around the centre pick up souvenirs from the gift shop or stop for lunch at the Cafe.
Set aside a full day for your visit to this fantastic wetland centre near Ormskirk. Each area of the centre is suitable for different types of animals and a Nature Trail winding around the reserve makes it easy to explore all of them. You'll see 100s of feeding birds in the Waterfowl Gardens including ducks, geese, cranes and flamingos. Free daily tours of the Waterfowl Gardens are available.
Look out for Martin Mere's two Asian short-clawed otters - Ned and Thai and a number of young otter cubs. The centre also features a Beaver Lodge, a Reed bed walk and you can enjoy either guided boat tours of the wetlands or head off on a Canoe safari! During winter pink-footed geese migrate to Martin Mere in their thousands, as well as whooper swans and Bewick's swans. Many wildfowl and waders come to the centre to breed at the duck marshes, which are flooded every year to encourage them.
Families love Martin Mere with its fabulous choice of things to do and activities for children. Toddlers will adore the Mini marshlands play area and for older children the centre includes The wetlands play space with bridges, channels and more, a cableway, a huge treehouse from which you can descend down a tunnel and the sand flats with sandy play area.
See reconstructions of Celtic roundhouses at the Roundhouse Village - Mere Tun and enjoy year round talks, exhibitions and activities from Toddler Thursdays with the Gosling Gang to flamingo and beaver talks. There are lots of child friendly gifts and great souvenirs on sale in the gift shop. Wildlife books, bird feeders and boxes are all available to buy.