New discovery centre pulling in the visitors

Mike Pratt and Simon King at the opening of Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre.
 Picture by Jane Coltman
Mike Pratt and Simon King at the opening of Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre. Picture by Jane Coltman

Hauxley Nature Reserve has had a record-breaking summer, with visitors flocking to the tranquil site since the opening of the impressive Wildlife Discovery Centre.

The Northumberland Wildlife Trust (NWT) facility, funded by National Lottery players and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was officially unveiled by TV presenter and wildlife cameraman Simon King OBE in June.

The eco-friendly building replaced the site’s previous centre, which was destroyed by arsonists in June 2010.

Since opening its doors, the Wildlife Discovery Centre has been visited by 28,000 people, some from as far away as Australia.

It means that this year’s visitor numbers to Hauxley Nature Reserve, between June and the end of September, are the highest they have been, compared to the same months in previous years.

And with glowing comments on TripAdvisor, NWT is delighted that the new centre is proving so popular with wildlife lovers of all ages.

The facility enables more people, whatever their age and ability, to be able to enjoy wildlife. On top of this, almost half of the circular path around the reserve has been upgraded, making it more accessible to watch nature.

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

Some of the wildlife to be seen includes ruff and black-tailed godwits, a marsh harrier and a peregrine falcon.