It is nearly World Wetlands Day!
2014 is the UN International Year of Family Farming – to link in with this, the Ramsar Convention chose Wetlands & Agriculture as its World Wetlands Day 2014 theme. The slogan is: “Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth”, placing a focus on the need for the wetland and agricultural sectors (and the water sector too of course) to work together for the best shared outcomes.
Wetlands are often intimately linked with agriculture. No more so perhaps than in the Fens. Wetlands have often been seen as a barrier to agriculture, and they continue to be drained and reclaimed to make farming land available. But the essential role of wetlands in support of agriculture is becoming clearer and clearer, and there are successful agricultural practices which support healthy wetlands.
The surrounding agricultural land is also of immense importance for the species living on the wetlands. See for instance a beautiful image of swans in the surrounding fields near Welney – they feed on the sugar beet stubble: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9842362@N04/3267890638/in/set-72157602183911159/lightbox/
To celebrate what is so special about wetlands, why we need them and how agriculture is intimately linked to them, WWT Welney Centre has a family fun packed day of events lined up this Sunday, 2nd February. Activities include:
- bird ringing demonstration
- owl pellet dissection
- guided walks
- swan feeds: Watch a commentated wild swan feed at 12, 3.30pm or 6.30pm to find out about why the relationship between farmland and wetlands is so important for our winter visitors
- and more
For the full programme, see: http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/welney/whats-on/2014/02/02/world-wetland-day/
More information can also be found here: http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/welney/news/2014/01/wwt-welney-news/get-involved-in-a-wetlands-bioblitz/
Sunset at Welney, January 2014. Image from: @sailorgirl1984
Swans – © Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust 2013