A BIRD-LOVERS paradise has opened its doors to the public in the Dee Estuary.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Burton Mere Wetlands in Burton, near Neston, opened on Saturday, providing visitors with the best way to view the wildlife on the estuary.

It has taken the RSPB three years to transform the landscape into an ideal location for wildlife and people.

Purpose-built visitor facilities include a reception building where RSPB staff will welcome visitors and point out the wildlife that can be seen in the newly created pools and wetlands. The panoramic views stretch for miles over the estuary.

Pupils of Bishop Wilson CE Primary School were given a preview on Friday and did some pond dipping.

They were joined by Iolo Williams, TV wildlife presenter of BBC’s Springwatch, who said: “This nature reserve is a brilliant example of a place which is not only fantastic for wildlife but is now a great place for people to come and visit and get excited about nature.”

RSPB site manager Colin Wells said: “It’s really satisfying to see the final results of all our hard work. We see more and more wildlife all the time and it’s wonderful to be able to share it all with visitors now.”

The nature trails which meander through the newly planted reed beds are already alive with all sorts of birds and creatures and Burton pools have lily pads and colourful wild flowers all around.

At this time of year there are plenty of ducks and water birds as well as kingfishers and white herons called little egrets which can be seen fishing. Some of the wildlife is more secretive, but there are brown hares, water voles, badgers and harvest mice living there too.

Everyone can visit for free until Sunday, October 2, and there will be regular guided walks and family wildlife challenges to enjoy throughout the week.

To find out more, visit www. rspb.org.uk/deeestuary, call 0151 336 7681 or email deeestuary@rspb.org.uk.