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Birdwatchers go up in the world

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 February 2019

Opening ceremony of new viewing platform at BTO's Nunnery Lakes nature reserve   Picture: BTO

Opening ceremony of new viewing platform at BTO's Nunnery Lakes nature reserve Picture: BTO

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An elevated viewing platform has been erected to give nature lovers better views of wildlife on a wetland nature reserve in Thetford.

The Kingfisher viewing point at Nunnery Lakes reserve in Thetford.The Kingfisher viewing point at Nunnery Lakes reserve in Thetford.

The platform is located at the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve and was made possible thanks to grants from the Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, and from Thetford Town Council.

It was officially opened earlier this month with a ceremony performed by the Mayor of Thetford, councillor Roy Brame, together with councillor Brenda Canham, who chairs the Ammenities Committee which approved the council grant.

Made of sturdy oak, the 3 metre platform offers a 360 degree view along the Little Ouse river and over the restored flood meadows and the lakes - the remains of historic gravel works used to build Thetford.

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Geese at the Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGeese at the Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The installation of the new viewing point is the culmination of a series of improvements made to the reserve over many years, beginning with the restoration of river meanders in 1994, which the Trust says vastly enriched the ecology of the river as well as benefitting Thetford by holding and diverting flood waters away from the town centre.

Nunnery Lakes Reserve Manager, Ian Henderson, said: “It is great to see the viewing platform in place on the reserve. I always thought the views it could give would bring a new perspective to the reserve but it will also allow many more people to see the wildlife that uses the flood meadows and help us monitor this too.”

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The grant application for the viewing platform to Thetford Town Council was championed by councillor John Newton, who very sadly passed away in January.

The Trust said the new platform, which allows members of the public to enjoy views over the Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve, is a fitting legacy of Mr Newton’s contribution.

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