Press Release

Mud pies on the menu at revamped play meadow in Staffordshire

RSPB Middleton Lakes celebrated the grand opening of their play meadow, helping connect children to nature and brining new experiences to families.

Posted 5 min read

A grand opening day at RSPB Middleton Lakes near Tamworth celebrated the arrival of a revamped children’s play meadow in the heart of nature.  

The celebrations were led by RSPB Ambassador and wildlife presenter Lucy Hodson, also known as Lucy Lapwing, who officially opened the new play area.  

The attraction is designed for families and children ages 2-10 to explore, with play equipment scattered throughout the meadow at the nature reserve, including a fully-equipped ‘mud kitchen’, willow tunnels and musical play features. 

The much-awaited grand opening was a day of pond dipping, bug hunting and crafts and activities.  

Girl playing with mud kitchen

Lucy Hodson said, “It’s a joy to come along and explore the play meadow at RSPB Middleton Lakes. It’s so refreshing to see a place where children can interact, thrive and have fun amongst nature and a fantastic way to create long-lasting love and appreciation for our natural world, which now more than ever before needs our care.” 

Unique features such as a custom gravel pit, with a mixing basin, bubble windows and timber walls showcasing British wildlife, link to the gravel quarry heritage of RSPB Middleton Lakes. 

Since 2007 the reserve has been transformed into a haven for nature, with reedbeds, woodlands and meadows thriving with wildlife. In 2021, Bitterns successfully bred for the first time in a century in the West Midlands at RSPB Middleton Lakes. Five young were successfully raised in a milestone conservation achievement. 

The play area also features pond dipping, balance beams and a slide along with a designated space for den building giving a chance for children’s creativity to thrive.   

Katie Thorpe, Site Manager at RSPB Middleton Lakes, said: “This play meadow offers families visiting RSPB Middleton Lakes that extra something, giving them the chance to come and play in nature and create lifelong connections with the natural world. Parents can relax in serene nature, catching a glimpse of some of our stars like the stunning Grey Heron or even Barn Owls, as well as having a play day for the kids, away from screens and four walls.” 

“We can’t wait to welcome families to discover this wonderful addition to the reserve and to see what our young visitors cook up in the mud kitchen!”  

Enovert Community Trust provided a £50,000 grant towards the play meadow project. Angela Haymonds, Trust Manager of Enovert Community Trust, said: “The addition of these improved facilities has already proven popular, providing children with opportunities to connect with nature, and fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the environment. It will attract more families to enjoy the natural beauty of the Middleton Lakes and appreciate the effort the RSPB puts into its conservation work. The Trust is delighted to have supported this project, and I am thrilled to see the positive impact it has had on the community so far.”  

RSPB Middleton Lakes is located close to both Birmingham and Tamworth. To find out more and plan a trip, visit 

To find out more about the RSPB, visit