A wild year

PUBLISHED: 11:08 19 April 2007 | UPDATED: 13:56 04 May 2010

ECO-FRIENDLY: The Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre marks the first anniversary of its visitor centre seen here during construction.

ECO-FRIENDLY: The Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre marks the first anniversary of its visitor centre seen here during construction.

THE Welney Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Centre will be celebrating its first birthday next week. Staff say it has been an eventful first year for the eco-friendly visitor centre. After opening to the public in April, 2006, the centre has played host to a nu

THE Welney Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Centre will be celebrating its first birthday next week.

Staff say it has been an eventful first year for the eco-friendly visitor centre. After opening to the public in April, 2006, the centre has played host to a number of special events and visitors. A Fen Tiger's Tale in August celebrated the lives and crafts of 'Fen Tigers', and introduced visitors to the modern day Fen Tigers who are keeping the old traditions alive. After the success of last year's event, A Fen Tiger's tale is returning to WWT Welney on Sunday, May 27.

The 60th anniversary of the founding of the trust by Sir Peter Scott was celebrated in November, 2006, and World Wetlands Day in February, 2007, invited visitors into the centre for free, to help celebrate and protect wetlands around the world.

Special visitors who have been welcomed by WWT Welney include wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who officially opened the centre in September, 2006, and Sir David Attenborough, who filmed on the reserve in December, 2006. Other special visitors include a record breaking number of Whooper swans who made the Welney reserve their home for the winter months; this spring Avocets and Little Ringed Plovers, among others, have returned to nest and 3,300 Black Tailed Godwits are stopping at Welney on their passage to Iceland and Scandinavia.

The centre has recorded many achievements in the past year. Recently the centre received a Civic Trust Award for Biodiversity and Sustainability, and has been shortlisted for a Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) award. The construction of a new swan pipe has meant that valuable research can be carried out by Welney wardens and WWT scientists, and work has started on a new hide, increasing the opportunity for all visitors to enjoy the stunning wildlife available to see at WWT Welney.

INFO: To celebrate its first birthday, the Welney Wetlands centre will be hosting a birthday party at 2.30pm on Tuesday, April, 24 when visitors will be invited to share a glass of champagne or juice and a slice of birthday cake with staff and toast a successful first year.

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