Wigan and the wonder of willow tits

Harrison Holmes, 2, and Noah Kay, 1, feed the ducks and swans at Wigan Flashes Open Day with Andy and Becky Kay and Louise Holmes by Alan Wright (2)

One of my highlights of the year is Wigan Flashes Open Day - returning to my childhood home and appreciating it's amazing wildlife.

The Flashes are huge lakes formed by mining subsidence and they have been reclaimed by nature over the decades. They offer a glimpse into our local wildlife and tell us stories about our industrial past.

Obviously, nature has been helped by the Wildife Trust, Wigan Council and the amazing volunteer groups that now work here and everywhere in our region.

The open day offers fun activities for families but ensure that we wander through the pathways to understand more about the nature around us. The paths were absolutely buzzing with the summer sound of bees luxuriating in these blossom-filled avenues.

Ducks and swans were enjoying a big feed from the many visitors to the event with Noah, aged one, and Harrison, two, showing nature lovers that birds should not be fed bread - Wild Things Swan and Duck food is much healthier.

A jay leapt in front of me on the path as I made my way to the hide and bird feeders. I watched as blackbirds, magpies, wood pigeons and great tits looked around for food.

Then I saw a willow tit, Britain's most endangered small bird. And I managed to get some sort of picture of it. A first for me. I am over the moon and 30 Days Wild Day 10 is the best yet. I will pop it on Facebook so you can all have a look.

Wigan Flashes is also the best place for great crested grebes in the area and we believe rare bittern have bred here recently, which is more than exciting.

If you haven't been, then get down to Wigan Flashes this summer.