Where: Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire GL2 7BT
£: Adults £12.30, concessions £9.50, children £6.70, family ticket £34.50 and children under 4 years go free. Members also go free.
What is it?
This two-day festival which coincides with World Wetlands Day will feature talks, exhibits and activities suitable for everyone whether you are a keen birdwatcher or nature-lover.
Warden James Lees will be introducing his short film, Ice Road Birders, which he made on a digiscoping tour of the wilds of Iceland. This will be followed by Q&A on digiscoping. There will also be a screening of Black Car Home, a short film set in Gloucestershire featuring a trained swan. Lead actor, Jon Cleave from the chart topping Cornish folk band Fisherman’s Friends, local film makers David Pearson and Elizabeth Morgan, and Lloyd Buck, who trained the swan, will be there on the Saturday as part of the screening event.
For the creative visitors there will be a drop-in swan bill sketching session, where you can learn how experts record Bewick’s swans patterns using a simple sketch pad and binoculars. There will also be the opportunity to make your own bird feeders during the day.
For those who are new to birdwatching, head out the hides at Slimbridge and talk to the WWT Guides. They will let you know the highlights from each of the main hides. There will plenty of stalls to browse over the two days with a range of birdwatching and photography equipment, artworks, bird boxes and children’s books.
On both days there will be a Wild Bird Feed at 4pm where visitors can gather in the Peng Observatory to see the spectacle of thousands of birds on the Rushy Lake including the rare Bewick’s Swans as they are fed by one of the wardens.
More info: www.wwt.org.uk