London Wetland Centre launches sensory events for summer

London Wetland Centre launches sensory events for summer

The London Wetland Centre has announced new ‘Still and Calm Pond Diving’ sessions for 2024 for people with sensory differences to explore the wonders of its ponds in a serene environment.

Sensory exploration sessions, which will take place every Saturday from now until August 31, will have limited capacity and will be scheduled for the quietest time of day.

During the sessions, visitors will be provided with a hammock and invited to join a member of the London Wetland Centre learning team as they discover the hidden world of snails, newts, shrimps and other magical wildlife beneath the water’s surface in a calm and welcoming environment.
Alexia Hollinshead, General Manager at London Wetland Centre, commented: “London Wetland Centre exists to realise founder Peter Scott’s vision of connecting people with nature, so we are constantly looking at ways to make our sites as accessible as possible for everyone.
“This includes expanding our program to include more events designed specifically for those with different needs, such as Quiet and Calm Pond Dipping.”
As part of its efforts to ensure the wonders of nature are open to all, the London Wetland Centre has also launched British Sign Language (BSL) tours, hosted by deaf arts practitioner and presenter (See Hear, Sign On) John Wilson, which will take place on 20 July.

BSL tours offer hearing impaired visitors the opportunity to explore the London Wetland Centre’s extensive reserve habitat, whose lakes, pools and gardens are home to a huge variety of wildlife, including kingfishers, sand terns, wading birds and Asian small-clawed otters.

Additionally, the London Wetland Centre has teamed up with storyteller Olivia Armstrong to host an interactive pre-opening storytelling session, specially designed for families with special educational needs and disabilities on 7 September.

As part of the session, Olivia will combine storytelling, music and sensory props to celebrate the changing seasons, as well as how they are reflected in the plants, birds and animals that call the wetlands home. This event will be included in the price of entry or free for WWT members and children under four, but must be pre-booked in advance via the WWT London website.
Research suggests that spending time in nature can positively impact a person’s mental health and well-being, but inequality in access is preventing millions of people from doing so.
As well as a growing events programme, the London Wetland Centre also has accessible walkways, some step-free hides, wheelchair and mobility scooter hire, as well as accessible parking and toilets. Assistance dogs are also welcome at the reserve.