The Martin Mere column - Lego fun

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LAST week, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s (WWT) giant LEGO brick animal trail, the only one of its kind in the UK, was launched at Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

This is the first time these amazing characters, especially created for WWT, have been seen in the North West among the real life animals which inspired them.

Through this trail, the nature reserve in Burscough, Lancashire is using the world’s most popular toy to encourage kids (and big kids) to build a better future for nature.

Visitors to Martin Mere Wetland Centre can enjoy the ten individually-designed LEGO brick characters revealed this week, for nine weeks over the winter (including the Christmas holidays) from 28 November – 31 January 2016.

The giant animals, some up to twelve times life size, include Flavia the Andean flamingo, a riot of pink bricks, Benedict the Bewick’s swan, magnificently stretching his brick wings and Emily the Emperor dragonfly, resplendently perched on a LEGO brick reed.

These magnificent LEGO brick models were created by Bright Bricks, the UK’s only certified LEGO professionals, and Tom Poulsom, the famous LEGO brick ‘birdman’. In total, almost 92,000 LEGO bricks were used over 955 hours to make all 10 characters. Lottie the otter and Bruce the Red Breasted goose took the longest time to make at 120 hours each.

Nick Brooks, Martin Mere’s General Manager said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the new species that have landed at Martin Mere Wetland Centre. We know our visitors old and new are going to absolutely love them. They’re a really fun way to highlight some of the animals WWT helps to protect. Here at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, we take particular pride in helping to conserve the Hawaiian goose (Nene) the world’s rarest goose, which was originally identified as a species that needed protecting by our founder Sir Peter Scott. Today, we are using LEGO bricks to inspire the next generation to continue Sir Peter’s work of saving threatened wildlife.”

As well as the trail, budding sculptors can take part in creative fun and games at exclusive LEGO brick workshops at weekends and daily through the Christmas holidays, build minifigures and buy limited edition mini LEGO brick animal models, only available at WWT. All proceeds will support WWT’s essential conservation work in the UK and around the world.

There is no extra cost to meet the giant LEGO brick animals at Martin Mere Wetland Centre; the trail is included in the admission price. Places for the workshops can be pre-booked on line. To find out more about the Giant LEGO brick animals and other brick activities please visit wwt.org.uk/legobrickanimals.