Visitors to WWT Slimbridge will be able to enjoy the best views of the wild floodplain of the Severn while protected from the elements in a new Shepherd’s Hut hide thanks to funding from Moto in the Community (MITC).

The previous hide, a 1960s ambulance, was removed earlier this year after decades of being battered by tides and storms. The new hide marks the beginning of a radical makeover which will open up the Summer Walkway, enabling a greater diversity of visitors to enjoy the wild Slimbridge reserve, dubbed an “avian Serengeti” by WWT founder Sir Peter Scott.

New ponds will support more wetland wildlife. And the Goose House, a former shooting lodge of the Berkeley family used by several reigning monarchs, will be rebuilt as part of a heritage trail.

General Manager at WWT Slimbridge Gary Haseley-Nejrup said:

“The Severn Estuary is the very essence of why Sir Peter Scott settled at Slimbridge so we’re really keen to bring that wild side to life for more of our visitors.

“The Shepherd’s Hut looks fantastic and everyone is going to get the most sensational views of the Severn – while offering shelter from the rain. We’ll have on-hand guides to help beginners identify wetland birds and information on the estuary with the second highest tidal range in the world. It’s one of many new and captivating set of experiences set to be on offer as we transform Slimbridge Wetland Centre over the next two years.”

New Shepherd’s Hut hide

The Shepherd’s Hut will be accessible to the public from spring next year and open during the summer months from April to October.

Brian Larkin, Chairman of Moto in the Community said:

“We are thrilled to have been able to help The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust with such a fantastic project. The Shepherd’s Hut is a fitting addition to this wonderful reserve and we hope that many, many visitors will enjoy using it.”
The new hide marks the beginning of a radical makeover, with the ongoing development of our ground-breaking Slimbridge2020 development, an amazing new project that will transform Slimbridge by offering visitors inspirational and immersive wildlife experiences.

The hut was created by Blackdown Shepherd Huts.