Visitor centre wetland Ilene






East Atlantic flyway


WLI Europe


Vestfold county governor

Funding support: Norwegian directorate of environment and self-generated income

Number of staff: 1.2 full time equivalent

Number of visitors per year: 15,000

Overall aims of the centre

Through information and positive experiences we want to raise awareness among the general public and young people, about the importance of nature and biodiversity and wetlands in particular. Our long-term aim is to turn them into guardians of our nature and contribute to its future protection.

Description of the centre

Only a short walk from Tønsberg city centre you can find an oasis where nature flourishes. Visitor centre wetland Ilene is situated by Ilene nature reserve. The wetlands on Ilene are especially important to birds during the spring and autumn migrations. Ilene nature reserve is of international importance, confirmed by it’s status as Ramsar site. Close to 300 bird species have been registered in the area.

Visitor centre wetland Ilene was one of around 30 cotter’s farms (smallholdings) under Jarlsberg estate. Vestfold Country governor use the centre to inform the general public and local schools about nature and conservation.

During spring and autumn the Country governor arranges open days for the general public with lots of activities for people of all ages. We have developed educational programmes from kindergarten up to university level. Hundreds of children and students visit Holmen each year to learn about the importance of wetlands and the species found in wetland habitats.

Work Areas

Main CEPA work areas

Visitor centre wetland Ilene aims to raise local and regional awareness about the importance of nature in Vestfold, Ilene and Presterødkilen ramsar site and wetland areas in general.

We have several educational programmes for children from the age of two to university level.

We arrange open days for the general public with activities for people of all ages.

We celebrate the Nordic-Baltic wetland day the 2nd of September each year with a “Wetland day for children”.

We have a bird tower and a nature trail with information posters

Top three successes

1) In 2012 we were designated as one of the five national wetland centres in Norway

2) We have developed educational programmes for children from the age of two to university level

3) We arrange very successful open days for the general public with activities for people of all ages


Interpretation techniques

Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools

Visitor centres

Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures


Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials


Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning.


Visitor centre wetland Ilene,

Semslinna 8,

3170 Sem,


project officer: Lene Berge