WWT Arundel Wetland Centre

Mill Road Arundel West Sussex BN18 9PB

In a suitably lush setting beside the River Arun, just north of Arundel's magnificent castle, this small but pretty Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust nature reserve attracts scores of ducks, geese, grebes and other water-loving birds. Whether you settle down in a hide or just stroll along the walkways, there's a good chance of seeing several species. The freshwater channels, reedbeds and wildflower meadows are also home to damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies as well as a profusion of snails and beetles. In school holidays, nature-loving kids can try their hand at pond-dipping then examine their haul under a video microscope. Included in the admission fee is a short, gentle meander by small, open motorboat, powered by electricity for quietness. It's not exactly Wind in the Willows, but you may still spot a character or two – there are plenty of amphibians and water voles can often be seen and heard, munching on shoots. Sharp-eyed visitors may spot tiny but brilliantly-coloured kingfishers perched among the foliage, too.

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