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Grannys Bay gets set to welcome autumn arrivals

Last modified: 07 September 2016

Pink-footed goose flock taking flight

Image: Chris Gomersall

The Ribble estuary is set to welcome back quarter of a million birds this autumn and the RSPB are running a series of special guided walks in Grannys Bay to showcase the sights and sounds of this natural spectacle.

Every autumn, the estuary attracts a great variety of birds from as far as Russia, Iceland, Siberia and Greenland. They migrate to the area following the breeding season and spend the winter feeding on the assortment of creatures that can be found in the estuary’s rich mud. This mud is so nutritious it contains approximately 20 chocolate bars worth of energy in every one metre3, making the Ribble the third most important estuary in the UK for wildlife.

Visitors to Fairhaven Lake in Lytham are invited to join monthly guided walks through the autumn and winter to find out more about these birds and witness their aerial acrobatics over the estuary.

The first walk takes place at 11 am on Sunday 18 September, from RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre, Fairhaven Lake, and lasts approximately two hours. No need to book, walks cost £3.50 per person (RSPB members £2.50) and are suitable for all abilities. Bring binoculars or hire a pair for just £3

Claire Critchley, RSPB Learning and Visitor Officer said:“Many people stroll along our stunning coastline, yet they may not realise the mud is home to such special creatures – from tiny shrimps to iconic curlews, the Ribble estuary is home to an array of nature. Despite the impressive numbers of birds here, much of our wildlife is sadly declining due to changes in their environment. These guided walks provide an opportunity to discover more about the challenges they face and how you can help them.”

On any day, visitors to Fairhaven Lake can also keep updated on the wonderful wildlife of the estuary with  the ‘Arrivals Board’ outside the Ribble Discovery Centre, which lists all the incoming birds and information on their incredible journey to the estuary.

Alternatively pop into the centre which is open all year round (closed Mondays) for more sightings, interactive activities and a range of gifts and wildlife care products.

For further information on other walks, events and wildlife sightings, visit

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