Charity’s investment in new café servery highlights value of Idle Valley Nature Reserve

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the county’s largest locally based conservation charity, has just completed the installation of a new café servery at its Idle Valley Nature Reserve off North Road Retford. The café is housed in the eco-friendly Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre, run by North Notts College, and provides a warm welcome for visitors to the nature reserve as well as those attending activities and meetings run by the college.
New servery at Idle Valley cafe

The café also provides splendid panoramic views over Belmoor Lake and the rest of the reserve which covers around 600 hectares alongside the River Idle running north towards Mattersey. It is one of the largest protected wildlife areas in region and by far the largest site cared for by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. It is regarded as one of the best bird watching sites in the area and a great option for visitors keen to a walk alongside the river and wide open spaces less than two miles from the centre of Retford.

Idle Valley is a stunning wildlife area right on Retford’s doorstep and we want as many people to be able to enjoy the reserve and its facilities as possible. The new servery makes the building much more welcoming and will help speed up service at busy times.
Rob Fitzsimons
Idle Valley Rural Learning Centre Notts WT cpt Tim Sexton

© Tim Sexton

The café and shop within the centre help generate income for the Wildlife Trust to help cover the cost of caring for the site and to support engagement with the local community. Speaking about the investment Rob Fitzsimons of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Trading Ltd said: “Idle Valley is a stunning wildlife area right on Retford’s doorstep and we want as many people to be able to enjoy the reserve and its facilities as possible. The new servery makes the building much more welcoming and will help speed up service at busy times. The investment has been made possible thanks to legacy support and a very generous individual donation and we’re delighted to be ready to  provide a warm welcome for visitors over the Christmas and New Year period and period”

Rob continued: “We’d like to thank our customers for their patience during the refurbishment and we’d also like to thank our partners at North Notts College who’ve been supportive throughout.”

The café will be open every day except Christmas Day.

On Thursday January 10th the Centre will host a talk by the Trust’s Head of Conservation, Janice Bradley entitled ‘Fracking & Other Wildlife Stuff’; on Friday Jan 18 it will welcome wildlife campaigner Mary Avery and on Saturday Jan 26thDavid Lindo – ‘The Urban Birder’ will be sharing his skills. Further details of opening times, directions and events can be found at www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org