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WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre in County Down ready to welcome visitors back

Visitors will soon be able to find solace from the latest lockdown by getting out into the 60 acres of big skies and beautiful wetland nature at WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre which re-opens this Friday 23 April. 

To keep everyone safe and socially distanced, Castle Espie is asking every person who visits to pre-book their tickets online, including those who visit for free such as members, children under four and carers. To book visit Castle Espie’s website wwt.org.uk/castle-espie

A magical mix of wide estuary views, tidal lagoon, eel-grass mats, woodland walks, salt marshes and reed beds offer the perfect habitat for new life to thrive. From the emergence of bats, butterflies and dragonflies to the arrival of ducklings and goslings, a world of wildlife is waiting to be uncovered.

Whether you are looking for some family fun or enjoy exploring the outdoors, make this a day out to remember and one which will leave you with a love and appreciation for nature.

Say hello to Northern Ireland's largest collection of native and exotic ducks and geese from around the world, set off on a woodland adventure and explore our outdoor Wildwood adventure play area or simply find a quiet spot to stop and see what wetland wildlife you can uncover, all while enjoying spectacular views across Strangford Lough.

Once you have built up an appetite stretching your legs and filled your lungs with fresh air, enjoy an outdoor picnic surrounded by the scents of wildflowers and birds singing overhead, or treat yourself to a take away Fairtrade coffee with delicious home-made cake or traybake from the Kingfisher Kitchen.

Paul Stewart, Centre Manager at WWT Castle Espie says “We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to our stunning wetlands which are currently bursting with spring wildlife delights such as black headed gulls and terns, wildflowers, butterflies and song birds. We’ve hugely missed our visitors. And we think our animals may well be looking forward to seeing some new faces!

As a conservation charity, we are incredibly grateful for the public’s support through these challenging times, it has meant the world to us.  Thanks to local people and our supporters’ generosity we have been able to carry on caring for our wildlife and our wetlands even when we’ve been closed.  Re-opening Castle Espie on 23 April feels like a significant milestone towards a more secure future, and a brilliant way to thank everyone for sticking by us.”

At Castle Espie “We’re Good to Go” and have been accredited with the UK wide Covid-19 consumer safety standard. To keep everyone safe, there will be daily limits on the number of visitors to Castle Espie. The centre is asking people to check back if they find the day they want to visit is fully booked, as they regularly review the situation and will increase booking capacity wherever it is safe to do so.

For further information on what to expect during your visit and how to pre-book a ticket visit wwt.org.uk/castleespie.

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