Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grand Designs for Hide at Nature Reserve after Architects Get on Board

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grand Designs for Hide at Nature Reserve after Architects Get on Board

Article excerpt


VISITORS to a Tyneside nature reserve can now enjoy wildlife watching in style.

For the new observation hide at the Gosforth Park reserve in Newcastle is probably the only architectdesigned structure of its type in the country.

Christoph Oschatz of Kiosk Architecture and Design in Gateshead and Daniel Mallo from EC Architects in Newcastle gave their services free.

The 150-acre reserve is managed by the Natural History Society of Northumbria and is home to wildlife such as otters, bitterns, red squirrels and plants like coral root orchids.

Christoph said: "We think that the work the society does on the reserve is pretty amazing and we wanted to help."

The society has looked after the site since 1929, making it one of the oldest nature reserves in the country.

The split-level hide, set amid reed beds and overlooking the reserve's volunteers have been amazing lake, was designed so that it could be built by around 30 volunteers, who started work in September.

and have put in a huge amount of They have given over 1,100 hours of labour to build the hide and 400 metres of boardwalk through the reed beds in the reserve.

effort The hide was opened this week by Viscount Ridley. It has been named in memory of his late father, Matthew Ridley of Blagdon, who was a keen naturalist and former president of the society.

James Littlewood, society director, said: "The old hide was dilapidated and needed to be replaced. The volunteers have been amazing and have put in a huge amount of effort.

"They have been cheerily toiling away every week in the mud and in all weathers. Some of them have been building parts in their garages and transporting them to the reserve. It's a fantastic achievement and the hide looks incredible".

Volunteer and retired joiner Tony Docharty, from Sunderland, said: "I have really enjoyed it.

"It was a great experience. Making the hide has been really rewarding - knowing that what you have built is going to last for years and years and be enjoyed by so many people".

The former hide could only accommodate 10 observers and was inadequate for visiting school groups. …

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