A breath of fresh air came to Beadnell WI’s April meeting. Our guest speaker was Alex Lister, of Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre.
Only a few members were unable to attend so there was a good turn-out, despite it being a very wet evening.
Alex’s talk was most interesting and refreshing. He led us through the process of the new centre rising “like the phoenix” from the ashes of the building that had previously served the site. He spoke with candour and great humour.
We heard how staff, volunteers and experts had combined their talents to construct something better and more fit for purpose than the original construction.
Their overall aim is to help people reconnect with the natural world. Sourcing natural products, locally wherever possible, was the mantra of the project.
We were intrigued and amused by the variety of items, which included turf, hay, sand, clay, water and horsehair. The new building reflects back to traditional construction techniques, while adapting them with modern twists and designs.
Looking at what has been achieved so far, and remembering that we have already seen photographs of wildlife visitors to the centre, we feel very inspired to visit it and the grounds to see what is on offer.
The passion and determination of the people involved was obvious and a tribute to working together cooperatively for the general good.
During our business meeting we heard of an enjoyable lunch visit to Sambuca’s in Embleton. In May we will be going to The Craster Arms in Beadnell, which has recently been so helpful to us.
Margaret Brambley and Pat Brand reported on an enjoyable visit to Powburn, where there was a thoughtful celebration of the county federation’s centenary. Brenda Tinker then regaled us with an entertaining view of the Northumberland Federation’s annual meeting.
We were all delighted to see how well our hall’s refurbishment has progressed. The major work is almost complete. We will need to maintain our efforts to raise funds to cover the remaining parts of our plans, but what has been achieved to date has been tremendous.
In conjunction with our speaker Alex, we have experienced several years of highs and lows in the process of gaining funds, together with the frustrations that can be encountered along the way to the desired goal.
It has been decided to keep and smarten up our existing chairs by having them de-pilled and steam-cleaned.