By Allan Fuller
Where can one see otters, birds, reptiles nearby in a 100 acre natural setting?
Only at WWT London Wetlands Centre in Barnes which is full to bursting with incredible nature and views!
Like many people, you may have needed to get more creative than usual over the last few months to find ways to stay entertained.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen many of our usual forms of entertainment taken away or stripped back to keep everyone safe.
And even though places have slowly been opening back up after the lockdown, it's not always straightforward for people to go to them. You may be nervous yourself or be living with vulnerable people.
One incredible alternative that you may have never heard of is the wildlife sanctuary in South London.
With over 100 acres of land, the London Wetland Centre is a huge space where you can walk and enjoy exploring a new place while staying outside and not having to get close to other people.
Described as a "safe haven" in which to enjoy fresh air, stretch your legs and experience nature.
Can you believe this is in London(Image: Patche99z/Wikimedia Common)There's loads of species of wildlife living at the sanctuary, including mammals like otters, reptiles like lizards, frogs and snakes, and many different types of birds from bitterns and a variety of ducks to oyster-catchers and egrets.
Because this is an open nature reserve, there's no telling exactly what animals will be about at the time you visit, but you can stay up to date with latest sightings on the centres blog before you go. For those interested in plants and flowers, there's plenty of these to spot and perhaps photograph as well. Wildflowers, fruits like berries, pretty flowers like roses and trees and bushes too.
There's over 100 acres of this paradise.As well as enjoying short or long walks, exploring the nature on offer and practicing your photography there are also activities available at the sanctuary like the outdoor adventure play area for children, lots of fun obstacles on the walk, like the rope bridge, and some hides where you can sit to look out over the vast waters and spot certain animals.
The Wetlands Centre have a number of health and safety measures in place to make it as safe as possible during the pandemic, such as limiting the number of people who can enter, mandating the use of face coverings in indoors spaces and increasing the cleaning regime.
WWT London, Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT
020 8409 4400