Wetland Discovery Area
The story and plight of wetland habitats
Sadly, we just need to draw your attention to the fact that an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was declared for the UK in November 2020. Therefore, following DEFRA guidelines and to protect our resident birds, sadly the flamingo and crane enclosures will be closed until further notice.
As you walk beyond the Millennium Garden you will come across the Wetland Discovery Area, which opened to visitors in July 2018, with the intended aim of educating visitors about the importance and fragility of wetland habitats and to inspire them to help protect them.
Wetlands occur on every continent of the world, except Antarctica. Many of these wetland areas are home to species which both permanently live there or travel to take advantage of their food supplies. Unfortunately, in the last 100 years about half of the world’s wetlands have vanished yet they are still hugely valuable for wildlife. Whether for water provision, hunting territory, breeding sites or plant growth, wetlands are vitally important.
This area demonstrates the different wetland habitats around the world such as lakes, rivers, and garden ponds, and has been part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It offers an introduction to underwater wildlife and life within the wetlands and houses a large pond-dipping facility, thought to be the largest in Norfolk, and which will give visitors a ‘hands on’ opportunity to see domestic wetland habitats in action by way of seasonal, family-friendly pond dipping sessions, led by a member of our outdoor team.
The Wetland Discovery Area takes you through to the flamingo and crane enclosure, where our 53 resident flamingos can be seen in their home, which is illustrative of tropical lagoons more commonly found in southern Spain. Visitors can also see our majestic resident cranes including Eurasian Cranes (also known as common cranes), East African crowned cranes, and red-crowned cranes.
Beyond the flamingo and crane enclosure is the Wetland Hide, which is the biggest hide we have here at Pensthorpe and where you can observe nature in action.