WWT slimbridge, every bird lover young or old’s dream!
We were invited to visit WWT Slimbridge and as it is a place that both Ryan and I have had on our To-Do list for a while ever since a member of Ryan’s family recommended it we gladly accepted the offer.We were informed that we would be trialing out a new activity (Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers) that they are unvailing for the summer holidays – how exciting, we couldn’t wait to go!
The morning of Saturday 15th July was here and to say we were all a little excited was an understatement, We were under strict instructions to be there by 10:30am and as we only lived about half an hour away we didn’t have to set off too early. We were so lucky to be able to take 5 people with us but we settled for four and invited my nan along, my nan and my late grandad took me here when I was about my daughters age so it was truly magical to be able to relive the moments.
We arrived a little early but we were greated with warmth and open arms from a lovely guy named Richard, as we were the only people here at the time for the unvailing he kept us entertained with facts and history of the place when we stood next to a map and were taken aback by how big the place actually is!
A short while later everyone had arrived and the staff presented the children with VIP passes, some gifts and some feed for the birds! They truly have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome and we couldn’t be anymore thankful.
The leader Jenny, rounded us all up and took us and our newly aquanted nature detectives to a real life Wildlife Ranger who was keen to teach us all about the reed bed and the riverlife this is the bit we were essentially being guinnea pigs for as we were the first to check it out.
Firstly, he taught us all about feathers, even giving the children the chance to pick up a feather each form the ground, although simple the little ones were overjoyed with the opportunity!
Next up he guided us to some large logs that lay on the ground dwarfed by the giant trees that stood tall overhead. he rounded up the little ones and then proceeded to turn over the log, there were frogs and insects a plenty. Isn’t it amazing how children absolutely love these creatures? He then returned the log to its starting state and procceded to lift the next one, under this one was a toad and the atmosphere just lifted, every seemed to have come alive and out of their shell, adults and children alike burst open with questions, questions of which our Wildlife Ranger knew the answers to.
After a few moments taking in what we saw and after all the questions had been answered in great detail we moved on the the next bit – the reed beds! We walked through a gate into pure wildlife. We came to a humungous lake where the Ranger sat down and showed us a shell with bite marks on and we were asked if we knew who had created these marks, Can you guess who the culprite is?
Next up, we were shown under some metal board and we were all utterly astonished by what it had revealed – SNAKE SKIN!
After a short walk we came to a stop and the ranger seemed extremely excited by what he had found, we thought that he was getting overly excited about poo on a stick but what he had infact been excited about was something that left every adult in the group laughing so hard we had tears and the little ones looking at us as though we are crazy! Oh what it was like to be innocent! That thing that made us laugh? Anal Jelly!Dusty’s wildlife ranger tour was about 30 minutes long and every child absolutley loved getting involved at the end of the tour the ranger asked us whether or not we enjoyed our time to which he was met with loud cheers and claps of people who were absolutely enjoying their day, not a single person had any negetive views upon it. I could carry on going in to great detail but that would spoil the fun if you all choose to go, so instead here are a few more photos of our tour.
Once our little rangers had finished with their wildlife adventure, we headed to the canoes! By this point I was very, very nervous. Shaniah was a little too young for this and my nan wasn’t up for it so the two of them went over to the play park. We put on our life jackets grabbed a paddle and headed for our canoe. Ryan jumped in no problem, me on the other hand… my legs just froze and I just couldn’t bring myself to get in. The staff were amazing though and encouraged me although they weren’t forcing me, a few seconds later I was in, I got in a little weird and as a result my foot was still on the boardwalk -haha! after I amnovered and got my foot back in the boat we were off! There was so much to see around the lakes but one thing we do think it would benefit from is an activity to do whilst you’re rowing around, maybe a spot and stamp activity, where you have to stamp a sheet once you spot the required thing, other than that we loved it, yes we ended up bumping into the weed’s on the bank and we even managed to get lost and end up in a few dead ends but we got back to base fairly straight forward and with massive smiles on our faces, we loved it and will certainly be doing that again!
Once everyone had made it back we headed to the cafe for a spot of lunch! After lunch we were then allowed to wonder arround by ourselves and check out the rest of the park.
We then stumbled across Wellyboot land… Every childs dream!
We had an absolutely amazing day at WWT Slimbridge, the staff make the day s special and it is clear to see they all absolutely love the animals there and take pride in their job. If after reading this you are tempted to go, here is a link to their website.
We would just like to thank everyone who made this day possible, I can’t fault a single thing about the day, the staff, the food the animals.. it was all amazing! We will certainly be back in the holidays when Dusty’s Wildlife Rangers is open to the public! On behalf of the Tanner Family, thank you so much!