Spectacular swan sight as Queen visits

PUBLISHED: 13:12 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

Her Majesty the Queen at Welney on Monday. Photos: BRIAN PURDY.

Her Majesty the Queen at Welney on Monday. Photos: BRIAN PURDY.

THE Queen made a special visit to a Fenland nature reserve on Monday and watched scores of swans flying in for a floodlit feed at dusk. Her Majesty spent more than an hour at the Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, where she was given a guided tour of the

THE Queen made a special visit to a Fenland nature reserve on Monday and watched scores of swans flying in for a floodlit feed at dusk.

Her Majesty spent more than an hour at the Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, where she was given a guided tour of the visitors' centre before watching the swans feed from an observatory.

Wearing a blue checked coat with matching hat and black boots, the Queen met with a host of local dignitaries, staff and volunteers and Year 4 children from Upwell Primary School in Norfolk.

During the tour of the centre, she walked over the new purpose-built footbridge, before meeting with staff and listening to a talk by one of the tour guides.

Reserve manager Leigh Marshall said it had been a privilege to welcome the Queen to the reserve.

The Queen also spoke to Peter Carter, an eel fisherman from Outwell, who fishes at Ely.

"She asked how the traps worked and asked questions about eel trapping," said Peter.

The reserve covers more than 1,000 acres and attracts thousands of migratory swans, along with other wildlife. The £3.5m visitors' centre was opened in 2006 and was built using all the latest environmentally friendly techniques, energy-saving technology and renewable materials.

During the visit the Queen also signed the visitors' book and was presented with a posy of flowers by Sarah Ward, aged seven, from Hockwold, Norfolk.

Martin Spray, WWT chief executive, said: "I am delighted that the Queen is our patron and that she found time to visit our wonderful new Welney Wetlands Centre. We very much value her support for WWT, which goes back many, many years.

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