Come and get your hands dirty at Bowlees Visitor Centre
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get more hands-on with nature then a Teesdale tourist attraction could be the place where your expertise and enthusiasm could make a difference.
As part of its continued expansion, Bowlees Visitor Centre is developing more outdoor areas that will both educate and entertain visitors of all ages starting with a bird hide and a mud kitchen.
The materials for both projects have been bought thanks to a grant from Natural England’s Wildlife on Your Doorstep fund.
Make Ideas A Reality
Helen Hambleton, Business Manager at the North Pennines AONB Partnership which runs the centre, said: “We’ve been lucky enough to get this grant but what we need now is some hands-on help to make both of these ideas a reality.
“Over the past two seasons we have asked our visitors what they would like to see here and both of these are on the top of the list. Hopefully, with help from the community, we can get these up and running for the February half-term holidays.”
The bird hide will be created by weaving willow into a screen with viewing holes incorporated to allow people to get a closer look at the birds that live in and around the centre’s grounds.
And the mud kitchen will be an outdoor area where children can let their imaginations run wild with cupboards, a sink, pots and pans but regular ingredients will be replaced primarily by mud and water.
Simon Wilson, from the AONB Partnership, will be leading the volunteer days and said as well as it being a rewarding experience it will also be fun: “It’s always great to get a group together to do something that’s both really valuable to the local community but also a lot of fun to do. There’s a real sense of achievement getting hands-on with a project like this and when you see it being used, it’s even better. We have great volunteers at Bowlees but we really need to get more people on board because without them, we’ll never be able to achieve all the things we’d like to do here.
More People Will Benefit
“The more people we have to help create new nature experiences, the more people will benefit.” As well as looking for people to help at these specific ‘build days’ the centre is always looking for more people to get involved in other projects.
Helen Hambleton said: “If you don’t want to get your hands too dirty then we have lots of other exciting opportunities – volunteers can lend a hand in the centre where they can help provide customer information, work in the shop and we always need people to help deliver our events.”
Get In Touch
Our volunteer activities will run between 2nd – 5th February. Anyone who is interested in taking part in building either the mud kitchen or the bird hide can contact Simon Wilson or Kaye Jemmeson on 01388 528801 for further details and to book a place. Food and refreshments will be provided.
Released: 27 January 2016