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Flamingos head North to Cumbria

Flamingos at Martin Mere. Credit WWF (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust)

Ahead of World Wetlands Day (2 February 2019), the Lake District Wildlife Park near Keswick has unveiled plans to work with the world-renowned Martin Mere Wetland Centre to bring more than 40 pink flamingos to Cumbria.

Around 20 pairs of the Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus will head north from their current home in Lancashire to create a new ‘satellite’ breeding group at the Wildlife Park later this Spring. It’s part of a joint plan with Martin Mere to help protect the distinctive long-legged birds by spreading the population across different sites. It’s also hoped that with flamingos spread across various locations, they will help to inspire a young generation of conservationists.

Greater flamingos stand around 1.5 metres tall and are native to Southern Europe, Central Asia, North West India and Southern Africa. They are very social birds, who often mate for life, and are well-known for parading around in animated breeding displays whilst stretching their long necks, flapping their wings and ‘honking’ loudly.

Staff at the Lake District Wildlife Park have been taking specialist advice from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) to design and build a bespoke flamingo enclosure, where visitors will also be able to see their synchronised ritual displays first-hand.

Park Manager, Richard Robinson, says, “We’re excited to be welcoming a new colony of flamingos here to Cumbria. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust is one of the leading flamingo breeders in the UK and we have been working with them for a long time now to fully understand and adopt the very best practices for rearing and caring for flamingos.

“The Lake District Wildlife Park is probably better known for its owls and birds of prey, but these colourful flamingos will be a great addition and underline our long-term commitment to supporting awareness-raising and conservation of these popular birds.”

Steve Nasir, Grounds Manager at Martin Mere, echoed Richard’s sentiments. He says “We’re thrilled to be working with the Lake District Wildlife Park. The Greater Flamingos at Martin Mere are a firm favourite with visitors and staff and we hope that by introducing this beautiful species to other sites, they’ll inspire a new generation of conservationists.”

The new flamingos are expected to arrive at the Lake District Wildlife Park by Easter 2019.

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