Have your say on Wildlife Trust’s visitor centre at Rushden Lakes

The new visitors centre at Rushden Lakes
The new visitors centre at Rushden Lakes

People are being asked to have their say on the new visitor centre being built as part of the £50m Rushden Lakes development.

The first visitor centre for The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust will form part of the major development just off the A45 at the former Skew Bridge site near Rushden.

With the site being such an important area for wildlife in the Nene Valley, the trust is asking people to take part in an online survey about it.

The Wildlife Trust is keen to know what people think of the plans to ensure that the nature reserve and visitor centre at Rushden Lakes are both an interesting and inspiring place to go.

By taking part in the survey, which is open until the end of June, your details will be entered into a prize draw to win one of two prizes: a day canoe paddle on the Nene courtesy of Canoe2 or afternoon tea at the Courtyard Hotel in Stanwick.

The trust wants to involve more people in the heritage of the Nene Valley by offering outreach activities, on-site experiences, learning opportunities and by supporting action in the community.

In order to achieve this, a team of staff will be looking to deliver an activity plan across the complex of sites, which will be based at the new visitor centre.

This will include improving access to green space, providing learning opportunities for people living locally and increase volunteer participation in the Nene Valley.

They want to create a large complex that appears and feels like one large nature reserve to anyone visiting it.

It is hoped the visitor centre will complement this by bringing to life the wildlife and heritage importance of the Nene Valley through a programme of events and learning for all ages.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Situated within a retail destination that is expected to attract three million visitors per year, we will have the opportunity to engage a significant number of visitors who do not normally have exposure to the trust, wildlife or heritage.

“The visitor centre is due to open in Spring 2016.

“The centre’s shop will provide a unique retail offer which combined with wider membership recruitment and income generation opportunities will ensure the activity plan is self-sustaining beyond the funded project.

“Working closely with Rockingham Forest Trust, Canoe2 and other neighbouring recreational partners we will build on the broad offer to visitors of the Nene Valley.

“The Nene Wetlands will act as a visitor hub allowing the trust to build strong relationships with local people and help reinforce the Nene Valley and its wildlife as a major economic driver for the area.”

To take part in the survey go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/rushdenlakes.