Friday, 9 August 2013

Our Visit to Martin Mere (WWT) Review


So today we visited Martin Mere, part of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Burscough. We were really excited to be invited to do this review. Martin Mere is a wetland conservation that aims to raise awareness of the value of wetlands and to support their conservation.
I have been once before when I was a kid for a school trip. I remembered the girls singing on the coach

'We've been to Martin Mere,
We've seen a baby deer,
What else did we see?
A duckling having a wee.'

My memory for short term things is appalling, but this song must be from 25 years ago and I still remember it. Oh dear now I feel old.

Anyway, we had a lovely day today. On entry we were given a map to guide us. We also purchased two bags of seed at the front counter so that Emily and Alice could feed the ducks and wildlife on the way round. The park is divided by gates and each area has its own name according to the species of animal living there.

Otter Enclosure

We started at the otter enclose, where we were just in time for feeding. The woman was feeding them shrimp and I think squid. As she was throwing the food in, they were going mad for it. The woman was explaining that the otters have a really fast metabolism and so they eat throughout the day. She was really good, explaining what she was doing and teaching the kids a bit about the otters. Alice was a bit wary as usual, but Emily walked up the stairs to the look-out and looked over watching them feed.



Beaver Enclosure

We then walked to the beaver enclosure. Access all round the park is easy. There are dirt tracks and pathways, we easily managed it with the double buggy. Some of the shallower pond areas do not have fences though, so if you are taking toddlers do take a buggy or keep hold of their hand. Alice was quite keen on getting her feet wet!

We watched the beavers play for a while from the beaver enclosure. They were a bit shy while we were there, but the handy television on the wall of the hut let us see where they were hiding. Again, Alice was giddy but a bit wary when she saw them and Emily was busy trying to spot them.



Walking Around

It is really a lovely walk around the Mere. Once we had seen the beavers, Alice and Rosie started to get a bit restless as they were both hungry. So we backtracked, and went to The Mere Side Cafe. There is an outdoor seating area overlooking the Mere so you can still look at the wildlife there while enjoying your brew and cake. We bought a tea, coffee and a kid's meal and drink that came to just under £10, so it was quite good value as well. The high chairs were some of the nicest I've seen in an eaterie to be entirely honest. My exact words were 'Oooh we could do with one of these...'
So, pit stop done, we set off again. We walked through the different areas, the oriental pen, South America, Europe, North America amongst others. We walked through Roundhouse village and encountered Mere Tun, a little wooded area with lots of fun kid activities. These were chargeable, but only £1 for pottery making and face painting. We encountered lots of different species of bird along the way, and the views are quite spectacular - peaceful, calming wetlands. We found a number of 'hides' - little huts where you could view the wetlands from indoors and look out at the birds. There were many real bird watchers - we were just amateurs really but we were keen nonetheless!



Harrier Hide

On our way round we walked up a small hill to 'Harrier Hide' - this is a huge hut from which to view over the wetlands. What I liked about Martin Mere was the dedication to conservation and education. There were lots of informative signs and placards all around the mere. Emily stopped to read a lot of them - this pleased me a lot. I love the fact that she could learn about wildlife as well as encountering it. Kids can get a bit indoors-y these days with computer games and TV - it's always great for them to be reminded that there is a whole world out there for them.


For the Kids

There are a couple of great play areas for the kids with climbing frames, swings and slides. Emily had a ball on these - Alice was a bit too enthralled with the ducks to be bothered with the play area to be honest. There is also a little kiosk by the main play area selling drinks and hot dogs. You can also go on a boat ride around the Mere. This looked really good but we thought it might be a bit too stressful for us with the young babies!


Swan Lake

We passed the swans - so majestic aren't they. We also saw the flamingos or 'massive prawns' as I said to Emily. She just pulled her face - she is getting too old to laugh at my rubbish jokes these days! As we walked back, we hung around the Mere for a while watching the little baby ducks. So cute!



Amenities

Toilets, baby change, cafe and kiosk were all clean and we made use of them all, as usual! There are benches all around the park for you to sit and just take in the views and the nature. You could also take a picnic if you wanted to. No complaints from us about the tea and coffee, and the kids enjoyed their home-made fish nuggets, chips and beans!

Events

There are a number of events coming up at Martin Mere, such as the Bat and Barn Owl Barbecue mid August. Check out their website before you go - you might want to arrange your visit around an event.

Martin Mere also do a membership offer. Prices start from around £30 for an adult for the year. This entitles you to free entry all year round. Family tickets are also available.


Overall

Martin Mere is a lovely day out. We were there over two and a half hours walking around and feeding the ducks and birds. We picked a lovely day for it, so we were able to walk around outside without umbrellas. Prices start at around £10 per adult.

And also, for your information, we didn't see a duckling having a wee.


Here is our short video. I've tried to embed it but Blogger is being a pain, so I'll do it tomorrow.




*Martin Mere kindly allowed me and my family free entry in exchange for this review.*






1 comment:

  1. popping over from the weekend blog hop, looks like a fab day out. my children love animals and would love to be that close! would be a trip with daddy though as I have an indepth fear of ducks, swans, geese lol

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