HIDE WITH A VIEW
The phrase ‘bird hide’ too often summons up images of a cramped, draughty shed, but it doesn’t have to be that way. WWT’S latest hide at their Washington Wetland Centre (pictured above and right) is a 16-sided gazebo with ‘surround sight’ views of a lagoon, the River Wear, and the Kingfisher Pool. Designed to be a welcoming space for all, the hide’s roof is built of interlocking beams which remove the need for support pillars, giving more room for visitors, especially those with pushchairs and wheelchairs. It’s also environmentally friendly, with a living roof to attract birds and insects while providing sound insulation, and a composting toilet nearby. ID guides and binoculars are also on hand to enable all visitors to get a close look at the Oystercatchers and Avocets that breed on the reserve.