Record first three months

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Monday 2nd October 2017

Stuart, Kate, Polly and Nancy Spence from North Shields enjoy at day at the newly opened Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre, photo Simon Greener

Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Discovery Centre (WDC) at Hauxley has had a record breaking first three months since throwing open its doors to the public on 23 June.

Funded by National Lottery players and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and opened by television presenter and wildlife cameraman Simon King OBE, the Wildlife Discovery Centre has been visited by 28000 people from as far away as Australia.

The new centre enables more people, whatever their age and ability, to be able to enjoy wildlife. Almost half of the circular path around the reserve has been upgraded so that people who are in wheelchairs or not so steady on their feet or pushing prams can easily watch wildlife.

With comments on the Trip Advisor website ranging from “best nature reserve ever”, “stunning and relaxing” and “paradise found” to “brilliant new visitor attraction” and “wonderful place that will only get better” the wildlife charity is delighted the new Centre has proved so popular with wildlife lovers of all ages.

But it’s not just humans who are enjoying the reserve; the total number of different birds spotted since the site reopened was 94 in June, 97 in July, 108 in August and 104 in September.

Visitors have had great views of some of our migrating waders and waterfowl including ruff and black-tailed godwits. Visitors even got a wonderful view of a marsh harrier hunting around the water’s edge from the café.

With meadow habitats cut late, there is an extended feeding and breeding period for invertebrates, particularly butterflies which have suffered as a result of inclement weather in the last few years and, with a swimming red squirrel nicknamed ‘Thorpedo’ spotted out on the lake in August, a peregrine falcon flying over the lake this week, the magnificent building and reserve are a jewel in the crown of reserves along the Northumberland coast.

 

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