Your support this year has been amazing. We simply can’t thank you enough. Despite the cost-of-living crisis and uncertain political landscape at home and abroad, you’ve stuck with us.
So just for you, here are some of the best images from 2022, to celebrate a year of remarkable achievements and milestones. From the announcement of a new Super National Nature Reserve to include WWT Steart Marshes, to a visit by our Patron, HRH The former Prince of Wales, as well as conservation success for our curlews, godwits and cranes, it’s been a year to remember. And all of this is thanks to you.
Press play to enjoy the unmistakable call of the Bewick's swan while you scroll down:
By January, a total of 128 Bewick’s swans have arrived on the Slimbridge reserve, including 33 juveniles, making it the most successful breeding year since 1966.
You really did us proud in the run up to World Wetlands Day, helping spread your love for these beautiful places by sharing images of your favourite wetlands.
March sees us welcome our Patron, HRH The former Prince of Wales to WWT Slimbridge, to celebrate our 75th Anniversary.
HRH The former Prince of Wales joins business leaders for the launch of a new initiative that reflects our ambition to create bigger, better and more connected wetlands to help fight the climate, biodiversity and wellbeing crises.
And that’s something these saltmarshes at WWT Steart are doing in bucketloads. It’s estimated they’re burying 10 thousand tonnes of carbon each year.
That’s the equivalent of taking 32,900 cars off UK roads for one year.
Also in March, a further 35 Madagascar pochards are released into the wild in the latest stage of our project to restore Madagascar’s wetlands, so they can support sustainable livelihoods for the communities who rely on them.
April sees the launch of our Curlew Appeal, which goes on to raise £130,000. Thanks to your fantastic generosity, we've been able to head-start and release 27 birds, pay for predator fences to protect nests and carry out important monitoring work.
Thanks to you, we’ve also been able to upgrade our freshwater lagoon at Llanelli which has seen an amazing increase in birds, including the first ever arrival of a black-winged stilt.
WWT Steart becomes part of England’s largest ‘Super National Nature Reserve’. The Somerset Wetlands SNNR, will form the backbone for nature recovery in the Somerset Levels and provide a place where people can connect to outstanding wildlife.
Summer's a busy time for staff and volunteers on our reserves. Thanks to your support, we’re able to create special wetlands where species like these natterjack toads at Caerlaverock, can thrive. We record breeding at 11 ponds across the site, with a peak toadlet count of 98.
As BBC Springwatch descends on Castle Espie, a new parasitic fungus is discovered growing on a spider in an old Victorian gunpowder store on the reserve. It’s named Gibellula Bangbangus by viewers in honour of its place of discovery.
With wildflower meadows like these in the Severn and Avon Vale floodplain becoming vanishingly rare we’re working with farmers to restore them to their full glory, to help ensure the survival of ground nesting birds like the curlew.
The end of June sees the last of our hand-raised black-tailed godwits being released in the fens. Over the five years of Project Godwit, evidence shows that the UK population of this critically endangered wetland bird is 40% larger than it would have been without this vital work.
Project Godwit was the first time headstarting was used as a technique to boost the population of an endangered UK bird and we couldn’t have done it without your support.
As the country sweltered in record breaking temperatures, we teamed up with David Lindo, aka the Urban Birder at London Wetland Centre, to call for more city wetlands to help cool our cities and boost our wellbeing.
The common crane was once lost from the UK for nearly 400 years. Now thanks to your help supporting our conservation work like the Great Crane Project, numbers have hit record levels.
© Jonathan Bull