Waterfront development delivers nature for all

Grundon Waste Management has played a key role in the major redevelopment of the waterfront area at BBOWT’s Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham, Berkshire, ensuring the stunning lakeside location is now easily accessible to all visitors.

Through the Landfill Communities Fund, Grundon donated £120,000 towards new shaded under-cover seating and a lakeside boardwalk, as well as wheelchair and buggy-friendly slopes to provide easy access to the shore.

The official opening took place last month (May), when Councillor Jan Cover, Town Mayor of Thatcham 2018-19, officially cut the ribbon to declare the waterfront open to visitors.

Councillor Jan Cover, Town Mayor of Thatcham 2018-19, prepares to cut the ribbon at the official opening, watched by BBOWT Chairman Barbara Muston (in white) and BBOWT staff, supporters and sponsors.
Councillor Jan Cover, Town Mayor of Thatcham 2018-19, prepares to cut the ribbon at the official opening, watched by BBOWT Chairman Barbara Muston (in white) and BBOWT staff, supporters and sponsors.

Laura Pepper, Head of Development BBOWT (Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust) said: “This redevelopment has paved the way for the Nature Discovery Centre to be ever more accessible, transforming it into an area that is open and welcoming and allows all our visitors to spend time by the shore.

“We could not have carried out this work without generous help from our funders, and BBOWT would particularly like to thank Grundon Waste Management for their support.”

Anthony Foxlee-Brown, Grundon’s Head of Marketing & Communications, said: “As a long-time supporter of BBOWT, we know they do a great job both in helping conserve our precious countryside and encouraging as many people as possible get out and about to enjoy it.

“We were delighted to contribute to the transformation and to also provide advice and guidance for the work through our experts in our Projects, Engineering and Design team.

“We were thrilled to attend the opening event and can think of nowhere better than the stunning new verandah to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery and watch the wildlife over the lake this summer.”

The redevelopment of the waterfront area includes a new shaded under-cover seating area, and a lakeside boardwalk, as well as wheelchair and buggy-friendly slopes to provide easy access.
The redevelopment of the waterfront area includes a new shaded under-cover seating area, and a lakeside boardwalk, as well as wheelchair and buggy-friendly slopes to provide easy access.

Grundon Sand & Gravel also contributed to the scheme with a donation of Cotswold Self-binding Gravel and giant feature boulders from a nearby quarry.

The Centre provides the perfect spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, with resident moorhens, coots and geese on the lake, as well as other residents, including tufted duck, pochard and shoveler.

Seasonal arrivals swifts and sand martins can be spotted feeding over the lake, while other visitors to the reedbed areas include warblers, kingfishers, dragonflies and damselflies; and the fortunate few may hear a bittern or cuckoo.

The wider area includes a stream, woodland, meadow, grassland and hedgerows, and is the perfect place to visit for families and those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

Grundon's Head of Marketing & Communications, Anthony Foxlee-Brown, joined BBOWT's Laura Pepper, Head of Development and Liz Shearer, Head of People Engagement, along with Grundon's Penny Broughton, Project Manager, to celebrate the official opening of the waterfront redevelopment.
Grundon's Head of Marketing & Communications, Anthony Foxlee-Brown, joined BBOWT's Laura Pepper, Head of Development and Liz Shearer, Head of People Engagement, along with Grundon's Penny Broughton, Project Manager, to celebrate the official opening of the waterfront redevelopment.
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