Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre

This exciting project looked to link people with wildlife in a way never attempted in the UK before. Working with developers on the Rushden Lakes Retail Park the local Wildlife Trust secured the future of this nationally important wildlife site.

Taking on management of additional areas of the SPA (Special Protection Area) and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) enabling the linking up of existing nature reserves to produce a ‘Living Landscape’ area spanning over a square mile in area.

The multi million pound retail development secured The Wildlife Trust BCN their first Visitor Centre.

The project involved the development, submission and delivery of a successful National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF, formally HLF, Heritage Lottery Fund) grant to deliver internal and external interpretative elements alongside community engagement work strands.

The Visitor Centre aimed to provide an accessible gateway to the Nene Wetlands Living Landscape and opened successfully to the public in July 2017.

The project involved working with the developers and architects to ensure the best outcome for people and wildlife.  All work was completed in consultation with senior staff, operational teams, external contractors and other stakeholders. Both within the Wildlife Trust, external organisations and companies such as Winvic, The Crown Estates, HLF, The Rockingham Forest Trust, Destination Nene Valley, Canoe 2 and Bewiched. 

The work focused on the building fit out and completion, education, community engagement and both internal and external interpretation installation.  

A key role within the project was chairing Nene Wetlands working group to facilitate delivery of project to completion, involving the Wildlife Trust executive board, senior team members, fundraising, conservation, reserves, retail, communications and education departments.

Project funded by:

Working in partnership with:

Photo credits – Rachel Steward, Wild Play and Education