New waterfront opens at the Nature Discovery Centre

BBOWT’s Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham has unveiled our new waterfront development, now open for all visitors

The Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham is proud to welcome visitors to our newly refurbished waterfront. Designed by Katy Bott, the new space incorporates areas of light and shade, with an accessible ramped access to the lakeside and new improved seating areas.

The space has been truly transformed into an area that is open and welcoming, and will allow all our visitors to spend time by the shore where they can see our resident populations of moorhen, coots and geese, as well as a wide variety of ducks; look out for tufted duck, pochard and shoveler! We encourage families to come down and meet these friendly creatures, and enjoy incredible views of the breeding terns on our floating island in the centre of the lake.

This redevelopment paves the way for the Nature Discovery Centre to be ever more accessible and an even better place to visit. Our new canopy offers shade from the sun and shelter from rain, providing a perfect place to come and see the swifts and sand martins feeding over the lake while enjoying a home-cooked meal from our café.

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

Anthony Foxlee-Brown, Head of Marketing & Communications at Grundon, said:

As a long-time supporter of BBOWT, we know that 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.

“Through the Landfill Communities Fund, we were delighted to contribute £120,000 towards the landscaping and redevelopment of the Waterfront, 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.”

Cathy Kompfner, Community Investment Programme Manager at Thames Water said:

“It has been fantastic to partner with BBOWT and invest in a community project that will have a lasting impact by making the site accessible and engaging. This space provides a retreat for residents and visitors of Thatcham to learn about their local environment and its wildlife.” 

As well as a financial contribution, Grundon also donated building materials to the project, including some giant boulders from their local quarry operations which add a special touch to the landscaped areas.

The Centre is surrounded by a lovely mix of habitats including lakes, 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. You don’t need to go far to find our valuable reedbed wildlife, including a host of warblers, kingfishers and a variety of dragonflies and damselflies. If you keep an ear out you may also hear a bittern or cuckoo.