Friday, 20 May 2016 08:43

New Visitor Centre Opens - Kingfisher Barn

The new Kingfisher Barn visitor centre in Muscliff opens it's doors on the 23rd May. The wildlife garden is part of the Bournemouth Borough Council ‘Explore the Stour’ regeneration project.

Councillor Lawrence Williams, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure & The Arts said, “Kingfisher Barn provides a gateway to a beautiful three-mile stretch of river. The creative and informative events will enable all members of the community to engage with, and enjoy, the nature that is on our doorstep.”

The RSPB is working in partnership with Bournemouth Parks over a two-year period, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to run activities and events which raise awareness and understanding about the Stour Valley, its wildlife and cultural heritage, amongst the local community and schools. The project to convert the Kingfisher Barn, including the installation of displays, exhibitions, and activities is costing around £155,000, with the majority funded by Heritage Lottery and other grants.

Tom Clarke, Project Development Manager for the RSPB commented “We are delighted to be working with Bournemouth Borough Council and the local community, delivering a range of visitor activities and experiences, including the chance for local people to see wildlife such as kingfishers and otters first hand, in such a picturesque setting.”

Nature orientated activities will be running throughout the opening week for children and adults, including pond dipping, arts and crafts, moth mornings and wildlife walks. Local sculptor Richard Austin, who will be carving a giant redwood ‘talking’ bench and way-marking posts for the river bank, will also be at the centre, along with our artist in residence Heidi Steller. Children from Muscliff School will be recording their stories and poems about the river Stour for the talking bench installation.

The opening exhibit showcases the 'Explore the Stour' project. Find out how to get involved, whilst enjoying a tea or coffee in the new wildlife garden. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to chat to visitors.

Kingfisher Barn is situated next to the car park at Granby Road, BH9 3NZ.