*Update* Due to new restrictions announced by the NI Executive on Thursday 19 Nov, the visitor centre at Belfast WOW will remain closed until further notice. We'll keep you posted when we can reopen again. In the meantime you can still enjoy the views from our bird hides and outdoor spaces. 

 
What's new at the visitor centre – 

The visitor centre is open 10am to 4pm, Wednesday - Saturday. We are asking all those who can, to please wear a face covering whilst indoors. Please sanitise your hands on arrival, we have handy sanitiser stations around the centre for you to use. 


There is no need to pre-book your visit, our friendly team will be on hand to help guide you through the new systems we have in place so that you can enjoy your visit safely.  


Due to the size of the visitor centre we will be operating at a maximum capacity of 14 visitors across our five booth areas. If we are at full capacity at the time of your visit, you may need to wait outdoors until we have the space to safely accommodate you – don’t worry you can still get great views from our bird hides while you wait. Although we have no cap on how long you can stay, we would appreciate it, if during busy times you could keep your visit to a maximum of one hour to allow others the opportunity to enjoy watching the wildlife.

We have enhanced cleaning regimes in line with government guidance and the seating areas are socially distanced, separated by screens and sanitised after each visitor. We have five seating booth areas, three booths can sit maximum of two people and two of the booths can accommodate up to four people from the same household or bubble. Larger households can be split across multiple booths – our friendly staff will be on hand to keep you right. A one-way system is in operation where possible.


We cannot accommodate group visits at present. If you are interested in bringing a group to the reserve please email belfast.lough@rspb.org.uk and one of our team will be in touch to discuss your options. 

Please note that we are no longer providing visitors with binoculars and scopes, you may bring your own equipment but please do not share equipment with anyone outside your household. 
 
Test and trace –
Our welcome team will ask you to provide some basic written details about your visit. This is to enable the NHS Test and Trace systems to get in touch should they need to. Please ensure you complete this before leaving, if you are visiting several times in one week you will still need to provide details for each visit. 
 
Entry fees -
Normal entry fees apply but we would prefer card payment where possible. Fees for non-members are £3 per adult, £1.50 per child, £2 per student, under 5s and carers go free. RSPB members are free – but please present your valid RSPB membership card to staff on arrival. If you aren’t a member, but would like to be, you can sign up at the reserve.  
 
Refreshments –
We will have a selection of hot drinks available for purchase. Refreshments are no longer self-service, please speak to a member of the team if you would like to purchase a hot drink and they will assist you.  
 

Toilets –
There are toilets available within the visitor centre. We have implemented a one-way system and enhanced cleaning regimes. We can only permit one household at a time, so please be prepared to queue at busy times.
 
Hides –
The viewing areas in Hide 1 and 2 are open. Please follow all signage at the hides and consider the amount of time you dwell in these spaces on busy days, to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful wildlife in safety. The enclosed members’/photographers’ areas are closed at present, we will monitor the situation and will reopen these spaces when it safe to do so.  
 

Guided walks and events -
We are currently unable to offer any guided activities or events. When these do become available, we will update via our social media channels. You can join our Belfast WOW facebook group to keep up to date with all the latest news from our reserve - https://www.facebook.com/groups/RSPBBelfastWOW
 
What might you see at the reserve? 
The autumn/winter is an exciting time at Belfast’s Window on Wildlife, our breeding terns might have left but we have a whole host of new arrivals coming from breeding sites in Greenland, Russia, Iceland, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. Over the next few months, you might spot shelducks, teals, wigeons, lapwings, oystercatchers, knots, redshanks, dunlins, and black-tailed godwits as they seek out the food and shelter offered by the reserve during autumn and winter.


We look forward to seeing you soon. 
If you have any concerns or questions, please comment below or email us at belfast.lough@rspb.org.uk 

Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players for helping us reopen the reserve and protect nature at a time when we need it more than ever.  
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