Wetlands provide essential ecosystem functions and services, including regulation of water quality, sustainable control and mitigation of flooding, greenhouse gas reduction, essential habitats for plants and animals, and cultural and recreational facilities. In recent years many organisations have run events on World Wetlands Day to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general, and the Ramsar Convention in particular.
The focus for this year’s World Wetlands Day is "wetlands and tourism", an issue of great importance in the UK where many of our wetland conservation areas, including the Norfolk Broads, the Somerset Levels and Moors, and the Great Fen, are visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year.
CEH scientists are working in the Somerset
Levels and Moors
For World Wetlands Day this year CEH has created a new web-based tool to help wetland managers in England and Wales project the impacts of climate change in the next 50 years. The project, led by Professor Mike Acreman, brings together the best available science, presenting results in an easy to use form showing how future climate could impact on different types of wetlands. Professor Acreman hopes that, in future, the methods developed can be extended to assessing impacts in other countries.
A number of wetlands sites up and down the UK are hosting special events this weekend to mark World Wetlands Day, so it's a great opportunity to get out and visit one! It's also a good time of year to witness one of nature's most magnificent sights, a murmuration of starlings - when they sweep through the sky in their thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, before flying down and roosting in the trees. Wetlands reserves are renowned places to see them.
Why not take your camera when you are out and about at a wetlands site this weekend, and add your photos to our Wetlands in the UK Flickr group.
- Read more about World Wetlands Day
Posted by Barnaby and Paulette