Our reserve at Catcott is one of the lowest points in the Avalon Marshes and home to a variety of wonderful wildlife. To make it even more accessible and engaging, Catcott has been developed in lots of new and exciting ways. Thanks to funding from Viridor Credits, way-markers, sculptural benches, resting points and even an amphitheatre are new additions that can be seen at Catcott.
Waymarkers are placed at significant points throughout the reserve, creating two trails, a deer and a coot trail both designed to guide visitors around the reserve to enjoy the incredible habitat and wildlife species, and identified by hoof and bird footprints. A beautiful sculptural dragon fly bench sits peacefully on the reserve along with several resting point dotted around, both to give enthusiastic explorers a place to rest. There is also now an amazing amphitheatre, not only visually stunning, it is the perfect place to have some fun. Educational groups, volunteers, members of the public, anyone can use it, maybe to deliver grand speeches, give talks, produce plays...a perfect space for the imagination.
Photos from left to right: Waymarkers, Dragonfly bench, Ampitheatre in progress
Adding to all of the news, Catcott also now boasts a boardwalk, which has been a project many years in the making and is now finished. The work, funded by the Heritage Lottery as part of the Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership started four years ago, the first two of which were spent cutting trees and the other two spent laying and joining them together to complete the 450 metre long boardwalk.
Picture: New boardwalk
Made from European Larch, felled from nearby Mendip reserves, Blackrock and Harridge Woods, the wood travelled minimal miles - all in all less than 20 – and was then processed by a mobile milling unit. Also, the area where Larch once stood, has now been replaced with native, broadleaf trees.
Once the wood was felled it was moved to the reserve and secured in place, thanks to the help of the Royal Navy, Western Power Distribution, and lots of incredible volunteers -our volunteers gave an amazing 3,000 hours of their time to the project! A big thank you to everyone involved – it couldn’t have been done without you.
The completed boardwalk designed to improve visitors' access to the reserve, has been made to last. The durable Larch posts were burnt to bring out natural resin, which as it bubbles out of the wood acts as a traditional varnish, protecting the wood from rotting. It is estimated that thanks to this extra effort, another 20 years has been added to the life of the boardwalk. On the off chance that any parts of it rot or break, individual panels can be removed as the boardwalk is screwed together.
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