When Sir David Attenborough opened the Attenborough Nature Centre in 2005 he described it as “a lifeline to the natural world“. Go there and you will understand.
Living in the city it is easy to feel disconnected from nature, craving the peace and tranquility of open spaces and fresh air in your lungs. So, who would have though that just a few miles away from the hustle and bustle of central Nottingham and Derby there’s such a getaway, the Attenborough Nature Centre and Reserve?
ANC tailors for all nature lovers, young and old, from beginner to established birder and their facilities and events demonstrate just that. Their full calendar includes all kinds of activities such as health walks, wildlife and wildflower courses and clubs for kids. They also provide educational programmes for schools from Foundation to ‘A’ Level. I really wish that Attenborough Nature Centre existed when I was at school, with education sessions on subjects like wildlife habitats, water life, saving our planet, wildlife art and outdoor adventures.
The nature reserve is managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and is a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It was established in 1966 and over the years has become a very popular place to see many species of native and migrating birds. Keen birders can keep up to date with sightings at the Attenborough Nature Centre website.
Once you’ve taken the Attenborough reserve nature trail and soaked in the beautiful views you may want a cup of Fairtrade tea and a home made cake in the centre cafe. The cafe menu includes sandwiches, cakes and drinks made from Fairtrade, local and organic ingredients. You could treat yourself or someone else to a little gift from the nature shop too.
The centre was awarded the Gold award for sustainable tourism in 2007 and was listed in the top 10 eco destinations in the world by BBC Wildlife Magazine.
ANC can also boast a super eco-friendly building design from the construction materials to the furniture in cafe, conference rooms and offices. Heat loss is minimised by high levels of insulation in the walls, floor and roof and electricity is produced by photovoltaic panels on the roof. They also use a green electricity provider. For those of you interested in construction and green building take a look at their sustainable building leaflet.
So next time you’re in the Midlands and you’re looking for a little inspiration or simply to connect with nature, visit Attenborough Nature Centre. You can get there by foot, train, bus or car and there’s no admission charge. Take a look at some of the things you can expect to find in their online picture gallery and plan your visit soon. I know I’m going to be spending some more time there this summer.
All photographs in this article are copyrighted to Attenborough Nature Centre.