Improved visitor experience at RSPB Ouse Washes


Tuesday 17 July 2018



The presence of local business Mick George Ltd is of particular prominence around the Ouse Washes region at present, with the company’s contribution to a couple of current projects being positively felt.

Not only is the firm engaged in construction works to raise the flood embankments at the Ouse Washes reservoir, but they have also been a significant funder of new and upgraded amenities at RSPB Ouse Washes.

Courtesy of a £18,443 grant, a more effective and welcoming visitor and volunteer experience at Ouse Washes will be recognised by regular nature enthusiasts and general visitors alike.

The project has witnessed dramatic external advancements with respect of access routes, public area landscaping and car-park upgrades.

While inside, focus has been on utility efficiency throughout the visitor centre. New ceiling insulation, low energy LED lighting and double-glazed windows and doors, as well as modern security systems, are just some of the features installed.

To further boost the visitor experience, a new drinks machine and heating system have been added, while superior interpretation boards supply greater information on the wide range of habitat and species visible at the site, not to mention the viewing screen for priority farmland birds.

Jonathon Taylor, at RSPB Ouse Washes, said: “The improvements made at the visitor centre have created a more user-friendly and welcoming space for visitors and local groups, encouraging more people to support our local wildlife, and to utilise the meeting space and guided walks that are made available. We hope that the venue will become an integral part of the local community. We’d like to thank Mick George Ltd for their fantastic contribution.”

There will be five regular volunteers on the reserve helping to maintain the new-look visitor centre.

The project arose as part of a local consultation completed by Cambridgeshire ACRE which discovered the lack of knowledge and awareness of the Ouse Washes facility. This is just one of a number of initiatives that are in-running to overcome this concern.

The Ouse Washes forms the largest area of washland (grazing pasture that floods in the winter) in the UK. In winter it attracts thousands of ducks and whooper swans returning from Iceland, while the warmer spring months bring hundreds of snipe, lapwings and redshanks to breed.

Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George, commented: “This is the second time that we have engaged with the RSPB having already donated monies to facilitate the new ‘Visitor Hub’ at Fen Drayton. It’s still early days, but I’m sure that the enhancements made at Ouse Washes will be equally greeted with the same degree of appreciation.

“The reservoir project is one that will be ongoing for a few years. We will do our upmost to ensure limited disruption for the nearby communities. Anything that we can do in the meantime to offer assistance, is something we would try to get involved in.”




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