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Low Barns Nature Reserve visitor centre

A wild welcome thanks to Foundation funding.

Low Barnes Nature Reserve has created a warm welcome for the community as lockdown eases: thanks to a grant of £1,500 from the Teesdale Revenue Fund.

The Fund, managed by County Durham Community Foundation, has helped Durham Wildlife Trust furnish the Alder Room at the popular nature reserve, for the local community to use and enjoy.

Durham Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves have always been special for local people. This became even more apparent during lockdown, when people began to rely on beautiful green spaces such as the Low Barns site.

Wild welcome

For many years, the visitor centre has been an important space for local people to meet, socialise and explore the nature reserve. Up until March 2020, the Alder Room was used by schools attending environmental education sessions, people and wildlife clubs.

The need for public places to meet is particularly important for rural communities, so people can access volunteering, guided walks and safe spaces to exercise and enjoy nature. Countless research suggests this eases loneliness, feelings of isolation and supports good health and well-being.

Grants for groups

A grant was awarded to purchase equipment in order to furnish the Alder Room at Low Barns Nature Reserve.  The funding allowed Durham Wildlife Trust to buy new chairs, tables, notice boards and blinds. Now the room is the perfect place for even more activities, including environmental education sessions with schools, talks, public events, volunteer training, artist workshops and social events such as children’s parties.

A spokesperson for a school group of visiting the centre in the summer said:

“We had the most fantastic time at Low Barnes, it probably was the highlight of our summer programme. Apart from the fact it was really knowledgeable the staff so patient with the children. A lot of the families hadn’t been to Low Barnes and couldn’t believe what a fantastic place they had on their doorstep. We all thought the facilities were amazing and wished we had been able to stay longer.”

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