A special visit to Brockholes and big thank you to our volunteers

Volunteers were delighted to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress of Preston at a recent volunteer day to transform an area of Brockholes nature reserve into a plant growers paradise.

Councillor Brian Rollo and his wife, Trisha visited The Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve to meet some of the dedicated volunteers there. 

In a day-long volunteering event the yard was transformed into a space that will be the perfect spot for growing plants and trees that will then be sold in the shop with all proceedings going to the Lancashire Wildlife Trust charity. 

Lindsey, the dedicated volunteer at Brockholes who kick-started the growing project said “Originally I grew a few sweet peas but now there is a huge selection of plants that are grown and sold. Many of the plants are cultivated from naturally occurring species here at the reserve so you can take a bit of Brockholes home with you.” 

The volunteer day was a fantastic opportunity for the Mayor and Mayoress of Preston to see the amazing work our volunteers carry out on a daily basis around our reserve. Among the Brockholes volunteers were individuals from the Myplace project – a partnership project created between Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Lancashire Care Foundation Trust to support improved health and wellbeing through connecting people with nature.

Jenny Reddell, Myplace Project Officer said “All hands hit deck to help breathe some new life into the site. Debris needed to be cleared and plants re-potted. Volunteers also built a new shade tunnel to protect the older plants, created a ditch that will provide drainage to the site and turned an area of previously unusable land into a beautiful terraced orchard planted up with a range of fruit trees to eventually be sold.”

Peter is a regular volunteer at Brockholes and with the Myplace project, “After I retired I wanted to do something a bit different and spend more time outdoors, volunteering is a great way of doing that. It’s also a nice way of socialising, these guys are a great bunch of people and we all get on really well. To see the improvements you’ve made to an area gives you a real sense of pride; just look at how much we’ve achieved here today in just a few hours.”

Whilst the Mayor and Mayoress were at Brockholes we couldn’t resist giving them a tour around our award winning floating visitor village, the first of its kind in the UK. The visitor village holds our welcome centre, activity room, restaurant and two shops and has been designed to bring people as close to nature as possible. Built on a 2,400 square meter concrete pontoon that floats on the lake our visitor village is built to the highest environmental standards. Heating is provided by a high efficiency, low emission biomass boiler burning locally-sourced wood fuel whilst natural ventilation helps to maintain the building temperatures. 

Our visitor village has actually just been shortlisted for BBC North West Tonight’s People’s Choice Building of the Decade. You can vote for us online from the 27th April by heading to BBC North West Tonight’s website.

We would like to take this time to thank each and every person who gives their time to our reserves and wildlife, their enthusiasm and passion is truly inspiring and we couldn’t do the work we do without them.