If you build it, they will come!

If you build it, they will come!

WWT Washington’s new Saline Lagoon Hide is seeing some amazing wildlife.

A specially designed hide introduced to bring wildlife and people closer together at WWT Washington Wetland Centre is proving a huge success since its opening earlier this year.

The 16-sided, accessible hide was officially opened in May and promised to help visitors get uncompromised views of the river Wear, Saline Lagoon and the wildlife both habitats bring. This has definitely been the case as birds such as little egret and kingfishers have been spotted over the past couple of weeks in the area. There have also been some spectacular sightings of a family of roe deer in the meadows, with one visitor even spotting the deer bounding right beside the hide – a truly spectacular sight and very encouraging sign!

Other birds on the Saline Lagoon include oystercatcher, common sandpiper and lapwing.

The eco-friendly, sedum covered roof has burst into life and amazing colour, creating a fantastic habitat for smaller wildlife and insects while being incredibly beautiful to look at.

The area has helped strengthen the biodiversity of WWT Washington’s nature reserve by connecting it to the River Wear. During high tide each month, the river breaches the banks and water flows freely into the lagoon providing a haven of fish and river goodness for wading birds; a true spectacle to witness.

The lagoon is an example of one of the UK’s rarest habitats and its brackish nature – a mixture of fresh and sea water – provides the ideal salinity levels for a unique range of wetland species.

WWT Washington centre manager Gill Pipes said: “We’re so excited that visitors are now seeing some amazing wildlife from the new hide – it’s exactly what we wanted from the project and we’re hugely grateful to HLF and all of our funders, as well as the contractors and WWT team that made this project come to life.

“The hide also provides motivation for our summer art project ‘Life’s what you make it’, where we’ve welcomed a community artist to work alongside visitors to create works of art and generally have a great time with them, using the wildlife they see as visual inspiration.

“Gillian Toulson has worked on a number of community based art projects, incorporating a closer connection with nature; so she was the natural choice to lead the project.”

Gillian will be in the barn 10am-12noon and 1-3pm every Monday and Tuesday throughout the summer holidays ready to help you create your own work of art to be included in our end of summer exhibition. Our guides will also be in the Lagoon View hide telling you all about the wildlife there and helping you to spot it using binoculars and ID books.

Gill added, “We can’t wait to see what visitors create – the amazing wildlife of the lagoon combined with people’s imaginations will make for a fascinating exhibition!”

The lagoon and hide projects were supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which gives grants to sustain and transform heritage in the UK, Sita Trust and other generous funders, including several donations from visitors.

Share this

Did you know?

Mowbray Park in Sunderland city centre is one of the oldest parks in the North East. Restored to its former Victorian splendour, it has an intriguing array of art works.


RT : Look at this! The first book in the Magic Misfits series, read by none other than the author, the awesome… https://t.co/WdqKeKDztA 2 days 10 hours ago
RT : Something for the weekend? From top comedians to seeing world class music acts for free, here's 10 top things to d… https://t.co/u8xifSm8TX 2 days 10 hours ago
We had a sneaky preview visit to the yesterday and wow! So much hard work taking place and it's looking… https://t.co/oXangUZWk1 2 days 13 hours ago
RT : can you believe it has been a week since our swashbuckling Peter Pan l… https://t.co/U20gSuSeOf 2 days 14 hours ago
Ted loved his visit to so much he didn't want to leave. He stayed on a few days longer than intende… https://t.co/vSEw27JnKj 2 days 15 hours ago
RT : Even the weather was great!!! ☀️😎 https://t.co/qGcjlnyV7h 3 days 8 hours ago
How good does this look! Great stuff we don't want the summer to end either but this i… https://t.co/05L5LZKYA2 3 days 9 hours ago
RT : The council brought in over £98m of external funding last year. Faced with continued Govt cuts members and officers… https://t.co/Xh8MToDcmT 3 days 9 hours ago
RT : You've only got until tomorrow morning to catch the fantastic work created by our Set the Sails groups at… https://t.co/hWb6nwaw9z 3 days 12 hours ago
RT : Ahoy there! Decorate your own yacht this summer at . Use a range of craft materials to personal… https://t.co/6wKbR4ggzw 3 days 12 hours ago
RT : Have you seen this little gem of a gallery in Frederick Street yet? Artist Ken Devine moved back to his home city… https://t.co/xqDMN2DUdC 3 days 13 hours ago
It all looks a bit fishy to us !! Terrible puns aside - we think these are fa… https://t.co/7ND2pXyvRc 3 days 14 hours ago
Mr Blue Sky is living here today, hey hey! We think the weather knows that the fabulous ELO Experience are playing… https://t.co/nurbE1Q4sS 3 days 15 hours ago
Hey we think this looks like great fun! https://t.co/gQYUweu2kU 3 days 15 hours ago
What a great selection of fun family activities this summer! https://t.co/k71ieYGk0N 3 days 16 hours ago


Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter