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Higham Ferrers Heritage Trail Leaflet now available to download.
Mon, 25 Jul 2016 11:55 by Sandra Mitcham
Over the summer there are various activities at your local library on Midland Road, Higham Ferrers.
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:24 by Sandra Mitcham
The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire’s (BCN) Into the Valley - has secured £662,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund
A journey through the Nene Wetlands – special for wildlife, shaped by people
Covent Garden-style street performances and characters from nature and history will soon be inviting Rushden shoppers to explore the wildlife spectacles on their doorstep thanks to a ground-breaking wildlife and heritage project.
The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire's (BCN) Into the Valley - has secured £662,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to: More »
- Create a major new 270-hectare nature reserve – the Nene Wetlands - from seven disconnected wildlife areas, three of which are currently closed to the public
- Protect, restore, and manage new and existing habitats for wildlife providing new access routes and interpretation which will complement the outstanding natural value of the site as an internationally important destination for breeding and overwintering birds,
Into the Valley will encourage shoppers at Rushden Lakes - due to open in spring 2017 - to embark on an adventure through nature and time at a place where wildlife, industrial history and modern retail culture come face-to-face. We will create a wildlife destination of international importance - the Nene Wetlands - and invite shoppers to take a walk down Wild Street from the precinct to the natural world.
Wildlife and historical characters will introduce Secret Spectacles beamed live to screens in the Visitor Centre; a new, path network will bring people up close and personal to the sights and sounds of nature; and an interactive programme of learning and experience activities will inspire young and old to get involved and become wildlife enthusiasts.
The developer of Rushden Lakes, LXB, is also funding a major new lakeside Visitor Centre - the first for Wildlife Trust BCN. This will act as a gateway for people to access and enjoy the wildlife of the Nene Wetlands. The eco building will be zero energy and also features a green roof which will absorb rainwater, provide insulation and create wildlife habitat.
This section of the River Nene, and its connected gravel pits, is essential for the journeys of more than 20,000 migratory birds each year. It is known as one of the best places in the world to enjoy the spectacle of thousands of overwintering birds.
We expect more than 500,000 people will visit the Nene Wetlands each year.
The Nene Wetlands will offer everything from easily accessible areas to quiet tranquil experiences, something for everyone from shoppers to expert naturalists!
Oliver Burke, Director of Living Landscapes for the Wildlife Trust BCN, said, "We are really looking forward to opening our first Visitor Centre next spring. The National Lottery funding for Into the Valley will allow us to extend our work beyond this centre to create a stunning sculpture trail leading out into the Nene Wetlands and offer events and activities in the shopping area. It will also pay for vital conservation work including protecting a sensitive heronry from disturbance, restoring ditches and managing scrub and grassland."
Jonathan Platt Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands said: "This is a highly innovative project that connects the stunning natural beauty and important wildlife of the Nene Valley with shoppers at the new Rushden Lakes centre. With mobile apps, theatre performances, guided walks, bugs clubs and much more, we felt this project has the potential to be a pioneering example of how to engage everybody in the wonders of our natural heritage. We're delighted to support it with money raised by National Lottery players."
Photo: Visual of the Nene Wetlands with Rushden Lakes in background. LXB.
About the Nene Wetlands
The proposed 270ha Nene Wetlands Nature Reserve will unite seven adjacent, but currently disconnected, post-industrial sites either side of the River Nene: four Wildlife Trust nature reserves (Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows, Ditchford Lakes and Meadows, Higham Ferrers Pits and Wilson's Pits) and the developer-owned Rushden Lakes complex of three sites leased to the Trust (Skew Bridge Lake, Delta Pit and Higham Lake). The area is dominated by flooded gravel pits and associated habitat including wet meadow, wet woodland and reedbed, and lies at the heart of the Wildlife Trust's Nene Valley Living Landscape, and the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site. The new Wildlife Trust BCN Visitor Centre at Rushden Lakes will act as a gateway to this World-class wildlife destination.
The natural and industrial heritage of the Nene Valley is a story of human and wildlife journeys – the area where gravel was extracted in the 20th century is now a World-class destination for wintering wildfowl in the 21st century. These stories will be explored through a series of innovative activities including:
- 'Covent Garden-style' performances that will raise awareness of the nature reserve to shoppers.
'Wildlife on the move'
- Taking simple wildlife themed activities out to the shoppers, encouraging people to see, smell, touch, listen to and even taste the Nene Wetlands'
- Nest, tern raft and trail cameras delivering footage to the visitor centre, café and online.
About the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire works to make our three counties a place where nature matters, where wildlife can flourish and enrich the lives of the people who live here: with your help we care for local wildlife. Ninety five per cent of the local population live within five miles of one of our 126 reserves and contributions of time or money will directly benefit local wildlife www.wildlifebcn.org
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery » Less
Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:43 by Danielle Edwards