On May Bank Holiday Weekend, the new Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre at Parc Slip was opened to the public again for the first time.
The weekend celebrations began on Saturday 25th May, when the new centre was officially opened by the First Minister, The Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM, AC. Others present at the opening on Saturday included representatives from the Valleys Regional Park programme, which provided funding for the refurbishment of the building, Trustees, local group members and others whose support allowed the new Centre to become a reality.
The First Minister then took part in some first-hand wildlife watching while pond dipping with children from the local Wildlife Watch group, TV presenter Dr Rhys Jones (BBC’s ‘Rhys Jones Wildlife Patrol’) and Rudi Bright of Rudi’s Tarka Challenge.
The attendees then enjoyed viewing a film made by Rudi about his Tarka Challenge, followed by a walk around the Nature Reserve with Conservation Manager Rob Parry. Dr Rhys managed to catch these two grass snakes out on the walk, in his suit. Very unconventional reptile hunting clothes!
Following the official opening, the public opening of the Visitor Centre took place on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May, with the brand new Coffee Shop open for the very first time! The day was very successful, with many visitors coming along to explore the Centre and sample the coffee.
The event was attended by Dr Rhys again, who led the public with Wildlife Trust staff on a ‘Reptile Ramble’ around the reserve. We were lucky enough to see a beautiful female adder and six grass snakes. Alongside the reptile rambles, other activities on the day included pond dipping, willow weaving with Out to Learn Willow and rural woodcraft demonstrations from the Gower Charcoal Makers.
We’ve had a lovely first few weeks in the new Visitor Centre, with lots of people coming to enjoy the reserve and follow it up with a cup of coffee! And we are now very pleased to announce that we have been awarded our Food Hygiene Rating, and we were given a five.
Come and visit us at the Centre soon, we hope you enjoy it!