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Monday, 07 March 2011 (3012758)
Trust launches paddle power
by David Simister

A WET and wild way to experience one of the borough's best-loved tourist attractions is being launched for the first time next month.

Last year The Champion reported that work was underway to create a canoe safari attraction at the Martin Mere wetlands and wildfowl site near Burscough, and now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has said the attraction will open to members of the public on April 11.

“The self guided canoe safari, funded by the North West Development Agency, will offer families and adults a safe and fun way to explore the recently created reedbed habitat and its rich biodiversity,” said a spokesperson for the organisation on the new attraction.

“Adults and children alike will be able to enjoy spotting some of the UK’s most threatened species ranging from water voles to reed buntings whilst having plenty of fun!”

The canoe safari was instigated as part of a series of investments into Martin Mere to celebrate its 35th anniversary, with work begining last July, and follows on from work to create an extended restaurant area to ease overcrowding in the previous facilities.

Martin Mere has created 2.4 hectares of new wetland and woodland to explore in the canoe, which are built in a wooden American style and can carry up to three people. There will be a charge of £5 per boat (£1.66 per person), which includes a life jacket, health and safety briefing and an hour on the canoe safari. In May a launch a boat safari to allow disabled access to travel around the wetland via a guided tour will also be launched.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust already operates canoe safaris at several of its sites, including WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, which have already proven a popular draw for visitors elsewhere in the UK.


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