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Re-Designing The Wetland Centre

Our visit to the wetland centre un-covered some flaws within the design of the centres services and user interaction. The intention of the centre and it’s employees is to try and create an experience where bird watchers, familys and wildlife can inhabit the area without conflict. We where taken to Headley Hide (below). This was classed as the family area. It was apparent that this was mearly a title and the space inside the hide was far from family friendly.


After un-covering the issues of the family experience I decided to look for some inspiration in the grounds of the centre. I was particularly interested in things that had a suggestion of play and adventure, suprisingly I found more than i expected.I particularly liked the feathers as it was the closest i got to actually touching the birds, something that I’m sure the kids would enjoy. The benches also provided an interesting focal point for development. Could it become a shelter? Can it be a construction of seperate parts that can be moved and constructed, could it become a hide of its own?


We spoke to birdwatchers and wetland employees on their thoughts regarding the harmony between the twitchers and families. Generaly the outlook was positive but it was clear that some more thought was needed towards the way children use the centre.

‘It’s rare, but their have been conflicts between twitchers and families. It’s mainly due to noise’ ‘Generally I find it’s a majority of birdwatchers on site. It’s in the summer break when you find more families and children’ ‘We think that families and children are positive for the centre. It encourages children to be aware of nature around and it may even inspire the children to take an interest in bird watching’

‘Children are only a problem when they are making noise in the hides. I know it’s not their fault but their should be services in place to help prevent this’ ‘I’ve seen the touch screens around the park but they confuse me so i can’t see how the kids would use them?’ ‘Bird hides are usually full of boring old men like us, the kids should have their own hide’


Design Proposal

Why: It is clear that the centre wants to appeal to families and birdwatchers alike but the message of their intention is fragmented as you walk through the grounds leading to confusion between the visitors and an un-enjoyable experience for the children. Un-amused children can end up being loud and boisterous in reaction to boredom. This in turn can upset the experience for the more serious bird watchers. Aim: Our aim is to tap in to the mentality of children visiting the site. Find out what their expectations are and what excites them. We will then use this information to improve their wetlands experience while trying to promote interaction with the birds and placing the child in the role of birdwatcher. Hopefully our intervention will help bridge the gap and create balance between the two divided groups. MEMORY While discussing the project, one question we asked ourselves; ‘What happy experiences do you remember as a child’? Inspired us to take the concept further and consider how using the idea of ‘memory’ may help us in the direction of our ideas. Focus: We intend to focus our development on children in key stages 1&2 (ages 5-11)


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Redwing Redwing

Heron

YES[ ] NO[ ] Does the Bittern have a Does loud call? the Bittern have a loud call?

] UK? NO[ ] Is it common to see] a Redwing in the to UK? YES[ ] NO[ Is it common see a RedwingYES[ in the

YES[ ] ] and NO[Bitterns ] Are YES[ Herons related? Are Herons and Bitterns related?

YES[ ] NO[ ] Does it like to breed around Doesfishponds? it like to breed around fishponds?

YES[ NO[ ] DoesYES[ the bird have] stripes over face? ] NO[ Does thehis bird have stripes over his ]face?

YES[ ] NO[ ] NO[eat ] Rabbits DoesYES[ the ]Heron Doesand the Snakes? Heron eat Rabbits and Snakes?

Bittern

Bittern

Does it use camouflage to hide fromcamouflage to hide from Does it use YES[ ] NO[ ] predators? predators?

Kestrel

Kestrel

The kestrel breeds in farmland, towns The kestrel breeds in farmland, towns TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ] and parks and parks

Duck

Heron

NO[ ]

Duck

Is it YES[ common to see] ducklins in the to see ducklins in the ] NO[ Is it common YES[ ] NO[ ] summer? summer? YES[ ]

NO[ ]

Mother ducks only haveMother three ducklins at have three ducklins at ducks only Where does the Redwing like todoes breed? How many species are there in the species Heron are there in the Heron ....................................... Where the Redwing like to breed? How many ....................................... TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ] a time. a time. ................................................................................ YES[ ] NO[ ] family? family? ....................................... ....................................... TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ] Ducks can fly. Ducks can fly.

Swallow

Swallow

Grebe

Snipe

Grebe

YES[ ]

NO[ ]

TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ] TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ]

Snipe

........................................ ........................................ What are the typical colours a Sparrow? Where does the Snipe get its name Whatofare the typical ........................................ colours of a Sparrow? ........................................ Where doesfrom? the Snipe get its name from? ........................................ Why do Grebes have lobed Why toes? do Grebes have........................................ lobed toes? TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ]

YES[ ] NO[ ] Do Sparrows eat seeds?Do Sparrows eat seeds? ........................................ ........................................ Is the Kestrel a Falcon orIsathe Hawk? Kestrel a Falcon or a Hawk? or FALSE [ ] Sparrows have an extraSparrows bone in their have an extra TRUE bone [in] their ........................................ Is it a predator or prey?Is it a predator or ........................................ prey? tongues. tongues.

YES[ ]

NO[ ]

................................................................................

................................................................................

YES[run? ] NO[ ] Do they often fall over when theoften run? fall over when the Do they

Snipes eat ]Pike. Snipes love to eat Pike.TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ] YES[love ] to NO[

Grebes dive into the seaGrebes when they dive are intointhe sea when they are in TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ] danger. danger.

Snipes breed in marshesSnipes and boggy breed in marshes and boggy TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ] areas. areas. TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ]

TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ]

TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ]

TRUE [ ] or FALSE [ ]


If you始re a super bird spotter and have found all the etchings then you can use this area to do some etchings of your own.

Instructions Inside your bird hunt booklet are 8 different birds for you to find around the centre.

Inside the wetland centre there is a plaque for each bird in your booklet. Use your map to find them as you walk around.

Bird Hunt Booklet London Wetland Centre Make sure to look very hard. Like real birds these plaques are hard to spot so keep your eyes open

When you find a plaque you can etch the picture of the bird into the empty box in your booklet. If your really clever there are also some questions to answer too. Now go and see how many you can find. Good Luck!

Wetlands  

London Wetlands

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