The RSPB is celebrating the completion of its new visitor welcome shelter at Fen Drayton Lakes nature reserve, near Swavesey. The shelter and a new viewing area adjacent to the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, providing visitors and passing commuters elevated views across Elney Lake towards the villages of Fen Drayton and Fenstanton, were funded by a generous grant of £31,670 from the Mick George Community Fund.
The shelter provides a welcome point and meeting place for the reserve and a place for people to gather while planning their visit. Maps, wildlife information, news and self-guided family activities are all available at the custom-built, green-roofed oak structure. It also provides a base from which RSPB staff and volunteers can meet and greet visitors.
Dave Hoccom, Area Manager for Beds, Cambs & The Fens, commented: "We are delighted to now have this striking new focal point at the heart of the reserve, from which we can welcome our visitors and we are grateful for the support from Mick George Ltd to allow us to fulfill this project. This is a significant step in the development of the reserve as a key attraction in the local green infrastructure network and place where local communities can explore the landscape and wildlife of the Great Ouse".
Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd said:''The nature reserve is an integral part of the local landscape, enjoyed by children and families for recreational purpose, as well as keen conservationists, all of whom will benefit from the new hub.'
''We're pleased to have been involved in the project to enhance the experience for those visiting the site. I think all would agree it is a welcome addition and the carefully designed structure adds to the picturesque setting. It was good partnering the RSPB, a respected charity, in giving something back to the local community.''
The project forms part of the wider Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This partnership brings together a range of organisations working to inspire strong community involvement and provide long term social, economic and environmental benefits to this rural area.
1. About Mick George:
· Mick George has grown to become one of the leading suppliers to the construction industry in East Anglia and the East Midlands with a commercial fleet size in excess of 240 HGV vehicles.
· They specialise in bulk excavation, demolition & earthmoving services, ready mixed concrete, a wide range of skip hire and waste management services, Commercial Trade Waste Service and aggregate supply.
· Mick George has an extensive network of operating sites strategically located across their operating region including quarries, landfill, transfer stations, concrete batching plants, state-of-the-art recycling centres and soil washing facilities.
· They have recently launched a brand new Commercial Waste service for businesses across East Anglia and the East Midlands.
· The rapid growth of Mick George over the years has led to the creation of 100's of new jobs within the local area, and Mick George Ltd now employs over 550 staff.
· The business growth of Mick George has beenrecognised with a number of awards, including winning the 2015 Cambridge Business Award for Growth and being ranked in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table in 2016.
· One of the company's main priorities is support within the local community. Mick George is heavily involved in sponsorship of both small local sports club, such as St Ives F.C and Park Farm Pumas, as well as much larger sports clubs like Peterborough United and Cambridge United. The company prioritises involvement in local events, environment and charities, most recently setting a challenge to raise £100,000 for Addenbrookes Charitable Trust .
· For further information, please visit: http://www.mickgeorge.co.uk
2. About the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme:
· The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a major grant to the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership: Heart of the Fens scheme in March 2014.
· This OWLP scheme is funded till March 2017.
· The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP) area covers two Counties, five Districts and 29 Parishes, and stretches for nearly 50 km from Downham Market in Norfolk to St. Ives in Cambridgeshire.
· The partnership aims to improve community interaction and participation to maintain and safeguard the OWLP area's inherent landscape beauty, its wetland habitats of international importance and its hidden archaeological and historical 'gems'.
· The 27 key partners are: Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire (ADeC); Bill Blake Heritage Documentation; Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk; Cambridge Archaeological Unit; Cambridgeshire ACRE; Cambridgeshire Association for Local History; Cambridgeshire County Council; Diocese of Ely; Ely Museum; Environment Agency; Fen Skating Association; Fens Museum Partnership; Green Light Trust; Manea Parish Council; Manea & Welney District Drainage Commissioners; Mepal Parish Council; Mike Petty; Natural England; Prickwillow Engine Trust; Rosmini Centre; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); Sutton Parish Council; Welney Parish Council; Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT); Wildlife Conservation Partnership (WCP); Workers' Educational Association (WEA); Fenland District Council.
· The Partnership is led and facilitated by Cambridgeshire ACRE (www.cambsacre.org.uk) Funder: The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) - www.hlf.org.uk
3. RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes nature reserveis a complex of lakes and traditional riverside meadows, next to the River Great Ouse, which used to be gravel workings. It is a fantastic place to explore and watch birds with huge numbers of ducks, swans and geese on the lakes in winter. In summer, terns, hobbies and a variety of dragonflies are regularly seen. Otters also live here, but are rarely seen. You can find out more and plan a visit at www.rspb.org.uk/fendraytonlakes
4. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations. www.rspb.org.uk
5. To keep up to date with all RSPB news in the Eastern Region:
· Follow us on Twitter: @RSPBintheEast and @RSPBFens
· 'Like' us on Facebook: RSPBCambs