Get set for 103 adventure-filled acres of amazing wildlife on the banks of the River Wear. This vibrant site is home to exotic waterbirds, wild waders, beautiful scenery and so much more. Whatever the season, there's always something to fascinate, inspire and engage families with the wonders of wetland birds & their habitats. The centre is open 364 days and visitors of all ages can enjoy unforgettable wildlife encounters and year-round special events. Even better, a visit to WWT helps to save wildfowl & wetlands for future generations.
WWT Through The Seasons
In spring, bluebells bloom in Spring Gill Wood, as rare nenes begin nest-building and wild lapwing breed on Wader Meadow. See the largest nesting colony of grey herons in the region display in the tree tops at Wader Lake.
Babies abound in the hazy days of summer, when the insect ponds hum with life and butterflies bask in the peaceful wildflower meadows. Watch wading chicks and young common tern playing on the shoreline or marvel as fluffy ducklings hatch at Waterfowl Nursery.
Bats mate and jays hurriedly bury acorns as autumn creeps in. Waders migrating south stop for fuel on Wader Lake, while other birds are going into their best breeding plumage - changing colour with the leaves.
In winter, hundreds of curlew fly in at dusk to roost alongside redshank. Find bullfinches and great-spotted woodpeckers perching on frosty branches in Hawthorn Wood. Water birds are showing off with displays and courtship rituals.
Meet the Wildlife
Adorable Otters - the Asian short-clawed otter family are real crowd-pleasers, playing chase in their pool, juggling pebbles on their tummies and squeaking ‘hello’ to onlookers. Feeding time is a splash – come see their antics twice daily.
Flaming Flamingos - discover the facts behind those bright feathers and why their knees bend backwards!
Delightful Ducks and Gorgeous Geese - there's a host of friendly ducks and geese ready to feed from your hand. Visit the Duckery, home to the youngest and fluffiest residents each spring and summer!
Classy Cranes - with their long legs and black and white plumes, the Eurasian cranes are feathered supermodels; marvel as they dance and preen.
Woodland Bird Wonders - wander down to Hawthorn Wood to catch a glimpse of colourful bullfinches and great-spotted woodpeckers.
Especially for Children
WWT Washington is open 7 days a week, 364 days a year (only closed on 25 December). It's recommended to allow three hours for a full visit.
Summer (April to October)
9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm)
Winter (November to March)
9.30am to 4.30pm (last admission 3.30pm)
9:30am to 2pm Christmas Eve (last admission 1pm)
Closed Christmas Day (25 December)