Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Martin Mere Wetland Centre in Lancashire has been flooded with thousands of pink-footed geese as they join the UK for winter. The species arrives each year in mid to late September after making the 500 miles journey from Iceland, with up to 30,000 expected to make the stop at Martin Mere.

The birds make their way over by travelling in large family flocks forming a V formation, with the most experienced birds flying at the front. This way, the less experienced birds will be able to learn flight paths for when they return each year. The sound of the geese calling as they fly overhead is a sure sign of autumn beginning and an exciting time for Lancashire residents as they await the yearly visitors’ arrival. 

Louise Clewley, Reserve Manager, said: “The geese will essentially use us as a stop-off point to re-fuel for the next couple of months before heading down South where they will spend most of the winter. 

“Leading up to their arrival, we prepared the reserve to create the perfect habitat for the geese. Our Longhorn cattle have played a big part in this, grazing the grass to the perfect length for them to enjoy.”


To celebrate their arrival, Martin Mere is hosting events throughout October so that you can get a closer look at the pink-footed geese. The centre will open earlier and close later on certain days throughout the month to witness the geese leave and return to roost. The Dawn Flights event will give you exclusive access to the Discovery Hide with a warden from 7am on Saturdays to see the geese take off. You will then head to the cafe to enjoy a delicious full English breakfast.

For those unable to make a morning visit, the Late Night Openings on Wednesdays and Saturdays is a fantastic opportunity to see the geese as they return to the mere. The centre will be opening until 7pm on these days, with entry after 5:30pm free of charge.


Louise Clewley said: “You’ll get to see the geese leave in the morning as they visit nearby farm fields in the search for food. They’ll then return in the evening as the sun sets before settling in for the night.  “The reserve is full of activity during the colder months, and it’s a great time to visit the centre. As well as the pink-footed geese, you can also expect to see other migratory birds, such as the shelduck, wigeon, and pintail.”


For more information about the upcoming events, visit the WWT Martin Mere website.

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