Chilean flamingos at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre are getting some unusual help to encourage them to breed during this hot weather – soil sandcastles!

Martin Mere’s fickle flock of 60 Chilean flamingos have only bred twice in the last 10 years. Staff at Martin Mere noticed the birds getting flirty during the hot weather and leapt on the opportunity by starting to build their mud nests for them. A small team of staff helped by volunteers built 20 soil sandcastles in just one day.

Martin Mere’s Grounds Manager, Steve Nasir, said: “I am absolutely delighted to say that as soon as we created these sandcastles, they sat on them straight away and have already started building nests. I am really hopeful for chicks within 6 weeks. We have had so much success in breeding the Greater Flamingos at Martin Mere, but the Chilean’s are very unpredictable birds and it is impossible to tell when they will start laying their eggs but hopefully we have found a way to stimulate them early.  ”  

The flamingos can be viewed next to the Eco-garden at the Centre and you can keep an eye on the website and facebook page to watch their progress.

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 6pm 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 to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight WWT Wetland Centres.


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