The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is a wonderful charity which helps to save wetlands around the world. WWT has 9 sites found over the UK where you are able to find out about the work that they do and also meet and feed the wildfowl which they keep for their conservation work. They not only do incredible things to help conserve and protect rare wildfowl but they also get the local public and schools involved in fun educational activities which help to spark interests in protecting nature.
WWT strongly believes in bringing nature and people together. Having school children visit the sites and getting close to nature is highly important. I believe in starting children young, get them out into nature and explore the world around them. The sooner they learn to respect and appreciate what fauna and flora in the environment do for us the higher the chance for a positive environmental future.
I started volunteering for WWT Llanelli in September 2014. I haven’t been able to give much of my spare time, but each time I do volunteer I get a huge sense of pride that I may have inspired a child to love nature. Many of the children which visit on school trips have never had the opportunity to meet such beautiful animals or been given the chance to learn about the wildlife that surrounds them.
WWT has a fantastic scheme called Inspiring Generations which is funded by HSBC. This scheme allows over 60,000 school children from disadvantage backgrounds to visit the WWT centres for free! Children from low income families are less likely to get out into nature than those from more advantage backgrounds. So being given this opportunity could be a real eye opener for many children. It may encourage them to persuade their families to learn about environmental issues and to get back out into the great outdoors.
WWT Llanelli runs a lovely pre-school group on a Monday morning during term time called Monday Munchkins. My 3 year old son thoroughly enjoyed many activities from pond dipping, crafts and story telling. It is a brilliant way of introducing wildlife to small children.
I can’t talk about WWT without mentioning the wonderful activity of feeding the wildfowl which are resident on site. You can purchase a bag of grain from the main desk which is found in the centre. Always feed the birds grain and nothing else, don’t ever feed birds at the centre or any wild bird bread as it is not good for them. Filling a bucket with grain and allowing your children to feed the birds is a special and memorable activity for them to participate in. Some of the Geese allow you to hand feed them.
One of the must see birds are the flamingos. Every time we pull up into the car park my son gets very excited about seeing his beloved flamingos.
There are information points found all over the site and boards which show you facts on the birds which are found here.
If you fancy a longer walk then head out onto the rest of the 450 acre reserve where you can spot some of the tens of thousands of migratory birds which visit annually, or if you are lucky you may see one of the elusive water voles.
WWT hold many different events and activities throughout the year. At Christmas children get to meet Father Christmas and also feed the birds with him. My son thoroughly enjoyed the Giant Duck Hunt, which is a fun activity that is held at Easter. My daughter was only 6 days old when she participated in duck hunt.
There is also a lovely little play park on the site where you can have a sit down and enjoy some refreshments whilst the children have a play. Or if you are like my partner then you may enjoy climbing on the park too!
My son just loves feeding the birds at WWT Llanelli!