Great Strides Made for New Wildlife Centre at Tondu

Renovation of the Parc Slip Visitor Centre, Tondu is making good progress and many of you will remember that at our last update we were able to report that the roof was being removed in anticipation of the new first floor extension. The extension would not only double the area available for school groups, wildlife enthusiasts and local communities but would also dramatically improve the view over the wonderful nature reserve.

This work was made possible in part thanks to a legacy from a very valued volunteer and friend to the Trust, Karen Morris. Prior to the rapid and shocking illness that took her life Karen had been utterly dedicated to Parc Slip and raising money to help the charity run.

Because of her valuable insider knowledge Karen knew only too well how important match funding is and so her parting gift to the Trust was the support to improve the visitor centre and nature reserve that she had known so well.

In spring and summer, visitors will be able to look over the reserve to watch swallows and lapwings gliding over wildflower meadows alive with colour. In winter watch from the comfort of the centre as a variety of farmland birds visit our feeders whilst wintering wildfowl flock overhead as they prepare to settle on the reserves ponds and wetlands.

Organised walks and training days led from the visitor centre will allow visitors to get even closer to the wildlife, enabling people of all ages to learn and experience nature in a way that will last forever.

The visitor centre is currently shrouded in plastic sheeting whilst the roof is in the final stages of being assembled. Once the new roof is in place, work can commence on the new café and wildlife discovery room.

Key to the new visitor centre will be a library dedicated to learning more about wildlife along with a historical timeline illustrating the nature reserve’s transformation from the open cast mine of yesteryear to the wildlife haven it is today. In particular WTSWW hope that the new Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Centre will pay fitting homage to the memory of the 112 men and boys who sadly lost their lives in the Parc Slip mining disaster of 1892.

The project has been made possible through grant funding from the Valleys Regional Park (VRP) and Biffa Award as well as dedicated legacies and many generous donations. We would like to thank everyone for their kind support.

Although a great deal of funding has been found, the project is still hoping to secure a further £35,000, which will help install state of the art interactive interpretation and facilities, increasing the visitor experience even further.

For any information on the new Visitor Centre or the Nature Reserve please contact:
Rob Parry
Conservation Manager