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Dec 1, 2008

Downy Duckling Experience

Downy Duckling Experience! from WWT Martin Mere 
Explaining the rearing of threatened ducks to people 

WWT, established 61 years ago, is the UK’s only specialist wetland conservation charity for the protection of waterfowl and wetlands. Martin Mere, one of nine WWT Centres, is one of Britain’s most important wetland sites for migratory birds with an additional captive collection of endangered waterfowl.

The Duckling Nursery opened in 1977 to hatch captive ducks in a safe environment. Many of the ducks are endangered in the wild; we protect them to ensure their survival as they can be vulnerable to predation in the Waterfowl Gardens due to their smaller size. This project is based on the Duckling Nursery, usually off-limits to the general public, opening to give visitors a special ‘behind the scenes’ look at the recently hatched ducklings and to learn about how we rear them.

Downy Duckling Week has been an annual event at Martin Mere for 25 years. The Nursery, used to promote why we keep captive birds, conservation work abroad and breeding programmes, provides visitors with the unforgettable experience of getting close to young birds and being informed about the egg to duckling process. A popular event for families, over 16,000 people visited the Nursery in 2008.

The interactive event is unique and the only location where you can see the whole egg to duckling process through the expertise of staff and volunteers. It includes a tour around the Nursery by trained volunteers, the opportunity to look inside eggs to see how a duckling develops (candling) and watching an incubator to see eggs hatch. 

Developed by:  WWT Martin Mere

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