It has taken four years of planning, preparation and construction to realise the dream of creating this magnificent wildlife watching observatory. This iconic addition to the reserve will allow visitors to connect with the wildlife of the Dyfi in a much more exciting and fun way.
The building itself sits deep in the reedbeds of Cors Dyfi. From the upper viewing level, 10m above the bog below, it provides a full 360 degree panoramic view of the Dyfi Valley with the Pumlumon Mountains and Snowdonia National Park beyond. This amazing vantage point gives visitors the opportunity to experience the whole of the Dyfi ecosystem from a totally new perspective, as well as giving fantastic views to the osprey nest.
360 Project Manager, Emyr Evans said, “We now have a world class facility that will enable us to connect people with wildlife like never before in Wales. It takes forward our vision of enhancing people’s relationship with nature and learning about the natural world around us. The 360 Observatory takes wildlife watching and learning to a higher level, quite literally.”
A dedicated and enthusiastic team of staff and volunteers is based in the 360 Observatory to engage with visitors and interpret what they see and hear around them. Brand new information panels have also been installed at numerous locations on the reserve as well as in the 360 Observatory itself, to explain about and showcase the plants and animals that are seen on Cors Dyfi reserve.
Emyr Evans continued, “We are lucky to have so much richness and diversity of wildlife in our small part of mid Wales. From kites to ospreys, from dormice to otters and marsh violets to bog myrtle. We’re also fortunate to have over 100 volunteers that donate their time so readily in helping us connect visitors to this abundance of plants and animals around us. This flagship 360 Observatory is the final piece of the jig-saw that will allow us to continue our work.”
The trust was joined by funders, officials, neighbours and friends to celebrate formally the tremendous achievement and realisation of this amazing vision.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, added: “HLF is the largest funder of heritage in Wales and today’s opening of the Dyfi 360 Observatory shows what a huge difference Lottery money can make to our natural environment.”
She continued, “I am delighted the HLF grant has enabled Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust to realise their vision for the Cors Dyfi Reserve - transforming the reserve into a year round, state-of-the-art wildlife visitor attraction. I am confident visitors will enjoy the improved facilities and will feel a greater connection with the abundant wildlife found here.”
Emyr Thomas, CAN Project Manager, added “The 360 Observatory is a truly beautiful place for local people and visitors where they can experience the amazing Dyfi, its landscape and wildlife. CAN is proud to have worked with MWT on this initiative and the result is to the credit of staff and volunteers.”
Notes for editors
The full project cost is £1.4m and is funded by HLF, Communities and Nature (CAN), and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. The project has also been supported by thousands of volunteer hours and has created four jobs in the Dyfi Valley.
Communities and Nature is a strategic project led and managed by Natural Resources Wales and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government.
Cors Dyfi reserve and the 360 Observatory are open seven days a week between 10.00am and 6.00pm throughout the summer and at weekends during the winter. The 360 Project is delivered bilingually.
In Wales HLF has invested over £284 million and supported over 2,162 projects in local communities all over the country. Follow us on Twitter @HLFCymru.
About Communities and Nature
European Structural Funds in Wales
The EU’s European Regional Development Fund is part of the £3.4bn Structural Funds programmes 2007-2013 aimed at creating economic, social and environmental improvements for people, business and communities across Wales.
Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
For information about the trust in general please 360 Project Facebook page.
For more information please contact Kim Williams at Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust on 01654 781 414, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.