21,000 Pink-footed geese arrive at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

26 September 2014

The autumn sound of geese flying overhead has begun with 21,500 Pink-footed geese arriving at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre in the last few days, having made the 500 mile journey from Iceland to spend the next month in Lancashire.

WWT Martin Mere had a record number of geese arrive with 36,000 of them roosting on site a few years ago. Over the next couple of weeks numbers will steadily increase with an estimated 100,000 geese being in the local area. Over the last 30 years, there has been a massive increase in the number of geese travelling through Lancashire, which will often get 25% of the Icelandic population of Pink-feet.

The geese spend the summer in Iceland and will ultimately spend the winter in the south after using the North West as a service station to rest and re-fuel for up to three weeks before continuing on their journey. 

Reserve Manager, Tom Clare, said: “I had my most memorable moment at Martin Mere in the Ron Barker hide. As I looked out, the two marshes were completely covered in 25,000 geese. I waited to see them take off which is one of the greatest sights in nature. Late September and October is one of the best times of the year to visit WWT Martin Mere as it is amazing to see the geese fly in during the afternoon to roost on the mere.”

Visitors also have the opportunity to watch the geese leave the roost in our special Dawn Flight events happening on Saturday 4, 11, 18 & 25 October. The events, starting at 7am, are £15 per person and include an English breakfast. To book onto the event, call Belinda on 01704 895181. 

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is open every 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 http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.


Contact: Victoria Fellowes on 01704 891240 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors

  • The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is one of the world’s largest and most respected wetland conservation organisations working globally to safeguard and improve wetlands for wildlife and people
  • Founded in the UK in 1946 by the late Sir Peter Scott, today we complement wetland conservation work carried out worldwide with a network of nine UK visitor centres
  • Wetland Centres are where people can have close encounters with awe-inspiring nature – wildlife clusters near water so there is always something to see at a Wetland Centre, every day of the year
  • As well as hundreds of species of birds, you can also see other wetland creatures like otters, watervoles and dragonflies in their natural environment
  • WWT Wetland Centres hold year-round events such as walks and talks, canoe safaris and feeding sessions, photography and craft classes, children’s activities and a host of special guest speakers
  • All WWT Wetland Centres have comfortable hides, easy pathways, fully stocked cafes and gift shops, Disabled and Mother & Baby facilities and lots of interactive ways to get close to wildlife
  • WWT members enjoy free access to all nine visitor centres and are kept up to date with developments through an award-winning quarterly magazine, Waterlife

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