Hauxley - wild and alive and ready for visitors
Along with thousands of other venues across the UK, the Wildlife Discovery Centre and Lookout Café on the magnificent reserve at Low Hauxley, closed on 15th March, causing financial loss to the wildlife charity and upset to its hundreds of daily visitors.
Now, thanks to emergency funding from the National Lottery Emergency Fund, a number of safety measures including: hand sanitising stations, contactless payment system, screens and an additional cleaner are now in place, enabling the visitor centre and reserve to re-open.
At the time of its official opening in June 2017, Northumberland Wildlife Trust CEO Mike Pratt likened the centre on its Hauxley reserve at Druridge Bay to a phoenix rising from the ashes following an arson attack, and, on Thursday 9th July, the phoenix is set to rise again - opening initially every Thursday - Sunday.
Throughout July, the reserve, which is always free to access, will operate on a booking system, with spaces available mornings and afternoons. Visit www.nwt.org.uk/events to secure a slot and avoid disappointment. A limited takeaway service will also available.
Speaking about the re-opening, Mike Pratt says: “It is a fantastic feeling to be able to reopen Hauxley after the lockdown period and though we are being careful and cautious in how access is being allowed, it will be great to have people and volunteers back amongst us.
“The good news is the wildlife has flourished during lockdown and there is plenty to see and experience, providing us all again with a much-needed extra boost of nature therapy.
“Please come back and enjoy Hauxley and rediscover it’s magic. It has been a challenge to open with the limited resources currently available and funding we have lost, but we cannot wait now to get people and wildlife back together at this stunning site.”
The Hauxley team is hoping that once August arrives, life at the Wildlife Discovery Centre will return to normality and its Lookout Café with its fabulous soup, cakes and sandwiches will be back on the menu, not to mention a few new varieties of scones created during lockdown by the café staff.