Yesterday (Saturday), we went with friends to the London Wetland Centre. If you are interested in birds, nature, environment or just a very pleasant outdoor ramble in beautiful surroundings, I am sure you would like this wonderful place.
We started with breakfast at Speedy’s1, down in Euston. We had been here before and, though it is small, Speedy’s is a very nice little cafe and I enjoyed my omelette.
The day had started grey and chilly but by the time we had finished breakfast, the sun was emerging from the clouds and together with the haze changing the scene into a strangely beautiful London morning.
Our first destination was Hammersmith and on such a morning it was appropriate to travel there by bus to have the full benefit of the scenery. London contains many interesting and beautiful sights and travelling through the city on the upper deck of a bus is a good way to see them.
Having met our friends we again took to the bus and were carried to the London Wetland Centre. There is an entrance fee, of course, because it costs money to maintain this beautiful and scientifically important project. You know your money is going to a good and worthy cause. You can pay each time you go or take out a membership, which works out cheaper if you visit often.
For their part the organizers have worked hard and intelligently to make the site pleasant and informative. You can follow the paths (a map is provided) which take you around the the whole site, enabling you to visit the various environments that have been fashioned to attract the species that need them, and you can visit the hides.
These are substantial structures with easy access sited at good viewing points. With stools and small windows that can be opened (and powerful monoculars in one case) they afford excellent views over the sanctuary without disturbing the birds.
You can take photographs or simply watch the birds (and some Highland cattle) going about their business. It’s a good idea to take binoculars if you have them but you can also see a lot with the naked eye.
While the hides provide an overview of the site (and you will probably want to take pictures from here because of the beauty of the landscape) the paths bring you close up to certain species. In fact, close enough to touch in some instances: I saw a young boy with a dragonfly perched on his hand!
It was a beautiful and sunny day, perfect for the visit. Below are a few more of the sights we saw.
1187 North Gower Street, London NW1 2NJ, Tel 020 7383 3485.