Christmas will be different for all of us in many ways, and Burton Mere Wetlands’ opening hours over the next two weeks are also slightly altered from previous years too.

  Burton mere Wetlands in winter (Paul Jubb)

The reserve will be closed entirely on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, reopening on Sunday 27 December through to Sunday 3 January. We will then be closed on Monday 4 January and Tuesday 5 January to allow staff an extra break having worked over the festive period, reopening on Wednesday 6 January.

On the days we are open, our opening hours will be the same as they have been throughout December; car park and trails open from 9am, then our staffed welcome point, toilets and refreshments open from 10am. The whole reserve including our car park will close at 4pm. Our visitor centre and mail-order shop remain closed through the festive period, and as Cheshire moves into Tier 3 restrictions on Boxing Day our hides will be closed to visitors until further notice.

If you’re an early bird, please do not arrive before 9am as visitors’ vehicles waiting outside our locked gate causes issues for our staff and volunteers getting in to open the reserve and can also block access for our neighbouring farmers. Burton Marsh, less than five minutes’ drive away, is perfect for a pre-9am walk or even birdwatching from your car.

Please be aware if you do intend to visit, that sturdy walking boots or wellies are recommended as the ground is very wet and even some of our hard-surfaced trails have puddles, and the unsurfaced areas such as the temporary East Bank viewpoint, the Burton Point trails and family wild play area are soft and muddy in places.

A reminder that if you’re on the Welsh side of the estuary, you can still enjoy the wilder parts of the reserve from the coastal path between Flint and Point of Ayr, where as well as the usual impressive array of waders and wildfowl we’ve had several reports recently of snow buntings on the beach. Similarly in Cheshire, on the days Burton Mere Wetlands is closed, why not stretch your legs at Parkgate or Burton Marsh, with highlights including a range of birds of prey hunting the flocks plus owls and two elusive bitterns.

We wish all our supporters and visitors a Merry Christmas and look forward to welcoming you at Burton Mere Wetlands in the near future, and we will keep you updated with any further changes that may be imposed given the current Covid situation.