Spectacular show as 40,000 geese arrive at Lancashire wetland haven

An autumn spectacular is happening right now, and it can only be seen in Lancashire.

By Catherine Musgrove
Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 3:45 pm

Up to 40,000 pink-footed geese are touching down at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre near Burscough as they migrate to the UK from Iceland.

They will stop in the North West for just a few weeks to re-fuel before continuing their migration south for the winter.

Victoria Fellows, visitor experience manager at Martin Mere, said: “It’s something you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

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Pink-footed geese at Martin Mere. Picture by Damien Giblin

“They are creatures of habit, and return to a place where they know is safe and has abundant food.

“They will be lead by an experienced flyer who can pick out location markers. They will know the M6 and the Ribble Estuary.”

She added: “Martin Mere is a perfect habitat for them. There are great areas of open water where they feel safe that no predators like foxes can get them.

“They also fly out to the beach front in the evening, as they know they are safe there too, and you’ll be able to see them flying in and around the local area as they look for food.”

Birds flying into the reserve. Picture by Chris Short

Martin Mere has reopened to the public after gaining the ‘We’re Good to Go’ stamp of approval, a UK-wide industry standard which has been developed in partnership with Visit England, Tourism Northern Ireland, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales.

Nick Brooks from WWT said: “Seeing thousands of thousands of geese flying overhead and whiffling down to the mere is one of natures greatest spectacles – but they are only here for a short time.”

To safely manage numbers on site, all visitors are all asked to book online. Visit: http://wwt.org.uk/martinmere