A conservation silent auction has begun at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre to raise money for a new Swan Link Discovery hide in 2015.

The current swan link hide was built in the 80s and at its time was the longest hide in Europe, allowing over 100 people to sit and view 2000 Whooper swans being fed over autumn and winter.

The new 70m discovery hide will have 4 distinct sections depending on the type of experience visitors require or their level of birding expertise.  Families can sit in warmth and comfort in a discovery hide that will include sofas and scopes, or photographers and expert birdwatchers can use the graduate or birders wing.

The silent auction will be on display until 31 January when all winning bidders will be contacted.  The new development will take place next summer, to allow for opening when the thousands of pink-footed geese migrate to WWT Martin Mere in the autumn.ots-internal hideThe new hide is the latest development at Martin Mere that has included an otter enclosure, a 170 seat café, canoe and boat safari, adventure play area, WOW aviary and wild walk since 2009.  Centre Manager, Nick Brooks, said: “WWT Martin Mere has opened up a new attraction every year for the last 6 years and it is planned to continue this trend so  that we are always offering something new and exciting for our visitors. This new hide will allow people of all ages and abilities to watch, learn and be inspired by the unique sight of thousands of pink-footed geese and Whooper swans that visit us every year. It is going to be a great new attraction and we are looking forward to starting the development.”

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 4.30pm during winter months and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight WWT Wetland Centres.

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