Family friendly festival to mark successful transformation at Skylarks Nature Reserve | News | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Family friendly festival to mark successful transformation at Skylarks Nature Reserve

Tuesday 23rd August

Family friendly festival to mark successful transformation at Skylarks Nature Reserve

On Thursday, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust will host its largest event yet at a nature reserve transformed after a public appeal to extend it in 2014. The event will feature a wide range of activities from ‘wild croquet’ and pond dipping to demonstrations of traditional woodland crafts such as besom broom making and see the progress made with the construction of a Grubenhaus, a small sunken floored, timber framed building, typical of the Anglo-Saxon and Viking ages.  

The free festival will run between 2pm and 8pm on Thursday 25th August at Skylarks Nature Reserve, Adbolton Lane, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham and comes just two years after the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust was able to significantly extend the reserve by purchasing an area of land known locally as Blott’s Pit.

The land was purchased following a public appeal and with the support of a range of partners and funders including The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Environment Agency and Rushcliffe District Council, The Wildlife Trust has been able to transform the site making it better for wildlife and more welcoming for visitors.

Known locally as Blott’s Pit, this area of former gravel pits with open water and wet grassland is a popular bird watching site. In addition to establishing new areas of habitat for wading birds and bats, the charity has installed a new network of paths, created bird wildlife watching areas and embarked on a programme of outreach activity designed to encourage local people to use and enjoy the site and to inspire people to get involved in caring for it.

In partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Archaeology Team, the Trust has developed a programme of experiential archaeology activities which have included the construction of traditional structures such as a Grubenhaus, similar in design to an ancient structure discovered on the site when it was a commercial sand and gravel quarry. The team are also delivering a range of courses where people can learn ancient skills such as flint napping.

At the event, volunteers will be daubing the walls of the building with mud and there will be demonstrations of Anglo-Saxon crafts such as spoon whittling and traditional cooking in an Anglo-Saxon Kiln.

Speaking ahead of the festival Reserves Officer Ruth Testa said: “With the support of our partners, funders, members and volunteers we are transforming what has long been an area of important wildlife habitat into an inspirational natural space that is accessible and welcoming for people too. We hope our festival will provide people with a chance to explore this wonderful wildlife area on their doorstep and to encourage people to help us care for it in the future.” 

Other activities will include whistle making and visitors will also be able to try their hand at pole lathe turning using nothing but leg power.

Ruth continued: “As well as providing a welcoming place for people to come and experience wildlife we also want to help visitors understand how people have used and shaped this site in the past with a range of skills and experiences so that they can help us care for the site in the future.”

The event will run from 2pm – 8pm and parking and toilets will be available.

For more details contact Ruth Testa on 0115 958 8242 or r(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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