Mark is set to view new Nature Site

(February 02, 2011)

Mark has been invited by The Wildlife Trust to view the transformed Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve near Preston on Friday 4th February.

The Wildlife Trust has been working for the past ten years to secure the site at Brockholes, which is of national environmental importance, and working to restore habitats to their full potential. The aim of this conservation project is to allow wildlife to thrive by restoring and enhancing their natural habitats and for visitors to experience nature first hand. Work on site is expected to be completed and ready for unveiling to the public in spring.

An award of £446,000 from the Lancashire Environmental Fund in 2008 helped to create five new buildings which will make up the visitor centre. The show piece of the site is the construction of a unique pontoon designed to float on one of the lakes. The floating design puts the building and visitors as close to the natural environment as possible. The building will also be set below tree level and is designed to complement the natural environment. The site boasts a wealth of natural habitats, including lakes, reed beds and flower-rich grassland.

Brockholes has already been designated as a County Biological Heritage site and is part of an extensive complex of regionally and nationally important nature conservation sites. It’s home to a diverse range of breeding and wintering birds and is an important migration site for over 160 species which is steadily increasing due to the improvements. Already one of the best sites for bird watching in the North West, the site attracts birdlife including Lapwing, Sand Martin and Kingfisher, along with more vulnerable species such as Whimbrel, Skylark and Reed Bunting. Brockholes is also home to badgers, bats, dragonflies and damselflies.

Anne Selby, Chief Executive at the Wildlife Trust said: “We are delighted that Mark has been able to visit the site to see how our Lancashire based charity has raised £10 million to invest in the local economy. The project shows how job creation and protecting the environment can go hand in hand. The floating centre, recently featured on BBC Countryfile, aims to attract 250,000 visitors a year and provides a fantastic new facility for the people of Preston and Lancashire to come and enjoy exploring the great outdoors and Lancashire’s wildlife. All just in time for Preston Guild.”

Mark said: “I’m delighted to have been invited to view the work at Brockholes; especially as it’s such an important biological and conservation site of national significance right on our doorstep. I would encourage people to go out and experience this nature reserve for themselves. It’s a home to hundreds of different plant, bird and animal species, which wouldn’t have existed without the commitment and dedication of the volunteers and staff at the Wildlife Trust.”

Funding for projects like these are drawn from a tax on landfill waste. The Landfill Communities Fund Tax was introduced in 1996 and allows for a small percentage of the tax to be ploughed back into improving and regenerating the natural environment within 10 miles of a landfill site. This has supported many projects in Preston and Lancashire and attracts more investment from other funding streams such as the Big Lottery and local fundraising activities.

Go to for more information about Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve.

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