World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2nd February each year, to raise global awareness about Wetlands and the vital role they play for people and the planet.
Wetlands are amazing, they sustain life; teem with biodiversity; naturally filter pollutants; store carbon and provide vital flood protection from storms. They are dynamic and ever changing throughout the seasons, but are disappearing three times faster than forests, making them some of the most threatened habitats in the world.
The World Wetlands Day celebration began in 1971, a time when Pensthorpe was still a working farm. Over the decades Pensthorpe has been transformed; with the river Wensum at its heart, it now provides an array of rich and diverse wetland habitats. Lakes, wet woodland, wet meadows, reed beds, and wader scrapes to name a few, and here we celebrate the importance of wetlands every day.
Connecting people with wetlands and their inhabitants is something we hope to do all year round. Not only is it vital for wildlife and our key conservation species, Cranes, Corncrakes and Curlew, wetlands have also been shown to be crucial for our health and wellbeing. With record numbers of people suffering with depression, anxiety and stress, having access to these spaces is so important.
Wetland Restoration is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2023. There is a realistic hope in this theme, as unlike ancient woodland and rainforests, which take centuries to regenerate, we can create and restore wetlands in a short time. It is something we can all be part of, whether by visiting and supporting Pensthorpe or other wildlife reserves, or creating a pond in the back garden, you can help wetlands, increase biodiversity and make a difference.