Wetland Centre London

July 8th, 2006 | by Charlotte |

Today I went to the Wetlands Centre London. They were adapted from Victorian reservoirs five years ago and they’re the biggest wetlands project in Europe. If you like ducks, you should visit. Especially in Summer – I couldn’t count the number of ducklings I saw today.

Entrance to the Wetlands Centre

They’ve done a wonderful job of turning the reservoirs into wetlands. You can’t tell that they’re not natural. The building is a ‘hide’, which is a building you can enter and watch the waterfowl without disturbing them. The purple flowers are purple loosestrife.

Hide at the Wetlands Centre

One half of the centre is British wetlands, the rest recreates, on a small scale, the types of wetlands found all over the world, such as Iceland, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, North and South America and Australia. I must admit I didn’t see all that much difference. A duck is recognisably a duck, no matter what species it is.

Bridge in the Wetlands Centre

The Australian section had black swans, and it gave an explanation of the black swans I’ve seen around Regents Park and St James Park. Apparently Australian black swans were released in London a century ago. They failed to thrive but a few ‘stragglers’ still persist.

My camera battery gave up the ghost at this point and I only got one more photo today.

These are fen stilts, tie them on and you can walk through deep, muddy water. Note the big lumps of wood at the bottom. They stop the wearing sinking into the mud. You need a long walking stick to use these. If you want to look like the engraving next to these stilts (that I tried to photograph but couldn’t) you also need a long, hooded cloak and mist to get the right atmosphere going.

Fen stilts

I made a quick visit to Portobello Road market on the way home. It was closing down for the evening, but I managed to buy some Tunisian marinated olives, which I’m eating now. They’re the smallest black olives I’ve seen, with hardly any flesh around the pip, but what flesh there is tastes wonderful.

I also went to the Spice Shop at Portobello and bought a Mexican salsa fresca spice mix (just add tomatoes, onions, and lime juice) and a fajita spice mix (add to chicken or beef strips, sliced onions and capsicums). I know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow night! 🙂

Doctor Who Update for Belinda

Thanks to an early terminating Tube train I missed the first 15 minutes, but the last half was suitably epic to wind up the series. Very emotional at the end.

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