Following my last blog about the formal launch of our new facilities, here's a quick update on how it went.
The morning was the typical whirr of activity as we laid out the food, chairs and tables and a drape was installed across the sand martin tunnels. By lunchtime, we were ready.
We were blessed with lovely weather on Saturday, which encouraged the crowds out. All our guests arrived in good time, accompanied by their families, creating a fantastic buzz around the Wild Zone. After a buffet lunch in the Discovery Centre, everyone gathered beside the sand martin tunnels. After the usual countdown from ten, the drape was lifted and the kids rushed in. Mayhem perhaps doesn't quite describe the sight of about 40 children all trying to enter two tunnels together (see photo below), but order was soon resumed as everyone played happily together.
Meanwhile, the more formal part of the day got underway in the Discovery Centre, with speeches from the RSPB's Director of Operations, Shaun Thomas, and representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund (on behalf of our funders) and the Suffolk Education Business Partnership (on behalf of schools).
After cutting the wonderful cake depicting the Wild Zone (see below), many guests joined us for a tour of some of the new facilities, while those with families gradually made their way home. We hope they'll be back again soon to enjoy the Wild Zone at their leisure.
As ever with these events, it was a relief that everything went as planned, but despite the usual stressful moments we enjoyed ourselves, and it was great to see so many families having such fun.
More photos of the day can be seen on our Facebook page by clicking here.