The WLI manager spent some time in Japan at the end of October attending a wetland NGO meeting and visited the Nakaikemi-shicchi wetland centre, south of Nagoya. The wetland centre is based in a ‘perched bog’ habitat, located near Nagoya in central Japan, which had previously been farmed for rice production. Subsequent management has seen a return to a reedbed habitat. The Ramsar site has been threatened with development before and is now facing a new threat from extension of the Japanese bullet train line (shinkansen) which will pass nearby.
The modern centre has been sympathetically designed to blend in with the landscape, and also has a traditional Japanese building in which to host events and activities. A small area is devoted to growing rice and school children are invited to take part in growing, harvesting and milling the rice. A successful volunteer programme is also being run, and we were lucky enough to meet some of the active volutneers whilst we were there. Thanks to our hosts for an amazing trip!