Open window on the wild

'Window on Lindisfarne' opening on Holy Island'Laura Scott from Natural England
'Window on Lindisfarne' opening on Holy Island'Laura Scott from Natural England

A new visitor attraction that will help tourists and locals get the most out an island nature reserve was officially opened last week.

The ceremony, for Window on Wild Lindisfarne at Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve (NNR), was led by Lady Rose Crossman, Dick Patterson, of Holy Island of Lindisfarne Community Development Trust, and Liz Newton, of Natural England.

Children from local schools also joined the event to discover what the island and this new attraction has to offer.

An innovative local partnership has built a new stone building – owned and project-managed by the Community Development Trust with funding from Natural England.

The building, which has a turf roof to help it blend into its surroundings, will provide a fantastic viewing point and a venue for outdoor education that will help tell the story of the rich diversity of wildlife found on the NNR.

The Window looks out over one of the Island’s key habitats, a seasonally wet meadow, which is the winter home to some very special visitors – light-bellied Brent geese.

In summer, visitors will have excellent views of the ground-nesting birds – such as lapwings – that make their home there.

The turf roof will provide a haven for insects and a safe nesting site for birds, while recesses have been left in the stonework at high level to provide more nesting sites.

The large window has a special bird-safety glass called Ornilux to prevent bird collision. The glass is transparent to the human eye, but has a UV-reflective coating, which works on the same principle as the spider’s web making it visible as an obstacle to birds.

Chairman of Holy Island of Lindisfarne Community Development Trust, Dick Patterson, said: “I’m delighted to see the building opened and feel people will really enjoy its beautiful design.

“On behalf of the Development Trust, I’d like to thank all the people who have helped us to construct the building and we look forward to welcoming people to it in the years to come.”