Saturday, March 17, 2007

London Wetland Centre

The Wetland Centre is getting a little crowded these days. Some sunshine, and crowds of pushchairs and screaming weans arrive from Barnes in four wheel drives. I am for encourage appreciation of the natural world from a young age, but most of them are just here to let there offspring run around the playground (yes, a playground in a nature reserve!) Today some even let their children climb up on to the artificial Sand Martin bank! I managed to make the last bus (even named the Duck Bus) that calls in to the reserve around 5:00pm. At least I thought I had but the driver had probably given up due to the massive queue from the reserve's car park. Was this tailback due to some rare attraction? If only. No this was the buggy brigade departing. Perhaps something could be done to encourage more people to utilise public transport for their journey to the reserve. The first thing the staff ask you when you arrive is, "Do you need a token for the car park?". The log jam of 4x4s meant I had to walk into Barnes (no great hassle there) to get a bus while the budding, motorised naturalists sat idiling. I know that the centre attracts many visitors from far and wide and, of course, a car is required but I just wondered how many were driving home just 10 minutes away. And the car park is pretty huge... perhaps another lake/marsh/wet meadow could be created here in it's place:-) Ok, grumble over. I'm much less of a moan in real life.... and I can hear a few people disagreeing already :-) The Little Grebes don't like too much disturbance and were keeping a low pofile today. No great arrival of migrants yet. Only two Sand Martins, several singing Chiffchaffs present and several Redshank, although yesterday a Wheatear had touched down.

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