Conservation charity, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, preserves wetlands – a primary source of drinking water for people and wildlife. Connecting us with nature, it facilitates encounters with wildlife amid beautiful landscapes.
Founder Sir Peter Scott was known as the father of modern conservation. He launched the first WWT in 1946 at Slimbridge as a conservation centre. At the time, it was unique in that it was open to the public, giving everyone the opportunity to experience nature close-up.
WWT connects people with wildlife through the simple ethos of feeding a duck. That one act is made even more special if the one you’re feeding is a rare species that has been saved from extinction or if you’re in the company of top wildlife specialists at one of the charity’s nature reserves.
Managed by WWT, wetlands are in locations all over the world. Species on the critical list are saved from extinction in a carefully designed and managed environment. The wetlands are either existing environments that have been repaired and protected or newly-created areas where people and wildlife can mingle together.
Liaising with businesses, the government and local communities, the WWT aims to teach people how they can live sustainably alongside wetlands, with both people and animals reaping the benefits they provide such as clean water, food, shelter, materials, people’s livelihoods and enjoyment for all the family.
Following the philosophy that we should never forget that conservation can start with a simple pleasure such as feeding a duck, the centres combine their conservation messages with a family-friendly environment where people can sit down and enjoy a nice cup of tea during their visit.
The WWT London Wetland Centre in Richmond upon Thames, is ten minutes from Hammersmith. It is an urban oasis of wildlife where visitors can stroll around the ponds, lakes and gardens, relax in the café and watch their kids enjoying the play areas. It first opened in 2000 on 40 hectares of land that was formerly occupied by small disused Victorian reservoirs. Two years later, a 29.9-hectare area was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The centre became home to many birds that aren’t found anywhere else in London including northern pintail, Eurasian bittern, northern lapwing, rose-ringed parakeet, water rail, sand martin, Eurasian sparrowhawk, common kingfisher, great crested grebe and little grebe. There are also significant numbers of northern shoveler and gadwall.
The site hosts regular lectures and other events focused on preserving Britain’s wetland species. It featured on a past edition of BBC TV’s Seven Natural Wonders as one of London’s wonders, showcasing the beautiful, colourful parakeets that live there. London Wetland Centre won the title of Britain’s favourite nature reserve in the 2012 BBC Countryfile Awards.
The site’s large, modern visitors’ building – also used as a wedding venue on occasion – was recently refurbished. Automatic Access was commissioned to carry out some improvement work that included removing the old swing doors and installing three single and one bi-parting modern glazed aluminium automatic door to create a better visitor experience and to aid access for disabled people.
Automatic Access has extensive experience in designing and installing high-quality automatic doors for public buildings, educational establishments and private businesses. Please contact us for further details.