Banyard Hide  -  lookout - shelter - bird hide

On Friday 10 February 2012 we officially opened a new observation hotspot at Wandlebury Country Park in memory of one of our dedicated volunteers and former trustee Michael Banyard. It is a bird hide, shelter and look out which will add to Wandlebury's delights.

Funded by charitable donations, corporate support and gifts in kind, the hide is in the woodland copse on the northern edge of Varley's Field, just off the main perimeter path, the perfect place for sheltering from the winter weather and a great look-out for watching the natural inhabitants of Wandlebury go about their business.

CambridgePPF is grateful to those who have supported this project and seen it through to fruition. An initial grant from Cambridge City Sustainable City Grant generated wide interest and local companies such as Mackays Ltd, Peter Saunders Builders Ltd Scotsdale Nursery and Garden Centre, Cambridge Risk Ltd, many local donors helped to make the project a reality.

Conceived by Architect Sabin Anca of State of Design Ltd together with international conservation organisation Forest Monitor, the structure started of as an exhibition feature as part of Architecture Week displaying global deforestation issues. Subsequently the structure was recycled in parts to make the bird observation hide. Sustainability issues have been at the heart of the initial structure - as an exhibition structure - and the theme has been continued at Wandlebury:
  • some timber of the original structure has been re-used
  • where possible local suppliers have been used
  • cedar cladding and roof shigles will weather naturally - avoiding usage of timber reservatives and paints
  • rainwater will be collected and used to top up a small wildlife drinking pool
  • a green roof - using native species - has been installed over the staircase - collecting water and creating further feeding and nesting places for insects and birds (the water impermeable liner has been donated by re-natur).
The structure has its own niche within a shelterbelt and gives views to different wildlife areas. Species to spot include the green woodpeckers, jackdaws and kestrels in around the pasture, robins, wrens, black birds in the coppice shelter belt and jays and pheasants in the field.

Following an initial idea by CambridgePPF's Ranger Team and in discussion with the committee the rangers together with volunteers have constructed the hide and the interpretation panels - depicting sponsors as well as the delightful green woodpecker - were also done in-house.`

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