£650,000 state-of-the-art nature reserve to open tomorrow

This is the state-of-the-art visitor centre at a Doncaster tourist attraction which is set to open to the public for the first time tomorrow.

Friday, 25th November 2016, 4:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 9:32 am
Potteric Carr Visitor Centre
Potteric Carr Visitor Centre

The £650,000 centre at the Potteric Carr nature reserve will be officially opened today at a private ceremony, before throwing open its doors in the morning.

Officials at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which runs the reserve, hope the facility will further boost visitor numbers to the venue, which runs popular family activity days.

Chief executive of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Rob Stoneman, along with funders, staff and volunteers, will be at the opening today.

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Bosses at the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve say it is a major visitor destination in the borough.

Officials at the trust say that at 600 acres, it is the largest urban nature reserve in the UK and has wide range of habitats, from wetlands fringed with reedbeds to mature woodlands and meadows.

It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, some of which is nationally rare.

Breeding species include the iconic bittern, along with marsh harriers, barn owls, kingfishers,water voles and grass snakes.

The nature reserve is visited by over 30,000 people each year, many travelling from across the country to glimpse the wildlife.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Until now the entrance to the site has not quite met the standards of a nature reserve of this importance.”

Nic Scothern, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Regional Manager for South Yorkshire said: “A lot of hard work and tenacity by the team over the last couple of years together with the humbling generosity of our supporters and partners has led to this exciting day.

“To be able to open a visitor centre befitting this spectacular nature reserve will really help us engage with and inspire more people.

“I would like to thank everybody involved in the project on behalf of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.”

The new visitor centre will include a shop, a tearoom, an outdoor deck, toilets, meeting space and lots of information about Potteric Carr and the work of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

The opening of the centre follows a fundraising campaign by the charity to get the cash in place to build it.