Soil sandcastles help Chilean flamingos breed at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

3 July 2015

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.

Contact: Victoria Fellowes on 01704 891240

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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