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Win an Annual Family Membership for Washington Wetland Centre

Washington Wetland Centre
This expired on 6th January 2023

Living North are delighted to have teamed up with Washington Wetland Centre to offer four lucky readers the chance to win an annual family membership for their spectacular wetland reserve

Experience an unlimited number of days out with a difference at one of the North East’s best kept wildlife secrets. Living North has teamed up with Washington Wetland Centre to offer four lucky readers the chance to win a year’s family membership (worth £96) to this wonderful wetland reserve, meaning you can visit as often as you like. Plus, each winner will get a £20 food and drinks voucher for the Waterside Cafe too.

On the banks of the River Wear near Sunderland, WWT Washington is a green urban oasis, home to exciting wildlife and habitats that change with the seasons.

In winter, wander through ancient woodlands sparkling with frost, as leaf-bare trees give glimpses of flitting woodland birds including long-tailed tit, siskin and redpoll. Visit Hawthorn Wood and The Lookout for close-ups of them gorging on seed and fat balls, along with colourful bullfinch and red-listed willow tit. With regularly topped-up feeders and lots of natural perches, the photographic opportunities here are endless.

At Wader Lake, one of WWT Washington’s best wildlife spectacles starts to build as the weather grows colder – the winter curlew roost. At its peak in January, more than 1,200 of these wonderful waders swoop down at dusk to settle alongside redshank and teal. A sight and sound not to be missed!

The lakeside hides also provide great views of feeding snipe, teal, wigeon and shoveler all season long and the majestic grey herons start returning to the hedge across the water to nest in late January. Enjoy a bracing walk to the Saline Lagoon and spend peaceful time in Lagoon View hide with its 360-degree panorama of this unique habitat and its incredible wildlife.

The centre’s collection animals are a thrill to watch too, with pink Chilean flamingos flocking elegantly in the wintry sunshine and Asian short-clawed otters Musa, Mimi and Buster revelling in attention from onlookers.

Spring and summer are also glorious times of year to experience wetlands. 

Good weather and an abundance of flora and fauna make for brilliant days out for all ages - and with a WWT membership, you can return time and again to watch the seasons unfold.

From March, see red-listed lapwing pairing up and nesting on Wader Meadow, as early flowers bloom and bring new life to the woodlands.

When May and June arrive, so do fledglings at Wader Lake. Marvel at young common tern exploring the exposed mud and learning to fish, alongside broods of regionally rare avocet and gangly grey heron juveniles.

Autumn brings with it a restorative calm. Enjoy a mindful wander beneath endless skies and changing landscapes full of rich colours and gentle light. Out on the wild reserve, it’s migration season, with large-scale nature on the move and at its most visceral.

Spending time with like-minded people is a great way to connect with nature and WWT Washington runs a variety of exciting and unique events across the seasons.

Look out for warden-led walks, moth mornings, school holiday activities, evening bat events, wildlife art workshops and more. 

Waterside Café is the perfect spot to relax or refuel during a visit; be it with a hearty breakfast bun ahead of a day of wetland exploration or unwinding with a cuppa after roaming the wetlands, woodlands and lagoons. Sit and enjoy home-cooked food on a covered terrace with stunning views of wildlife.

For your chance to win this wild prize, send your name and contact details on a postcard to Living North, Studio 2, St Nicholas Chare, Newcastle NE1 1RJ; enter online at or email competitions@livingnorth. com. Please mark your entry Washington Wetland Centre. All entries to be received by 6th January 2023.

Terms and Conditions

Competition prize is four family memberships to Washington Wetland Centre to be won by four people, with a £20 food/drinks voucher for each winner. The prize is non-transferable and prize has no transferable monetary value.

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