A new Osprey viewing hide

It may be three months before we expect the first Ospreys to return to Rutland Water, but work is well-underway in preparation for their arrival. By far the biggest Osprey project job of the winter is the replacement of Waderscape hide at Lyndon. Waderscrape provides superb views of the Manton Bay Osprey nest and the new hide will be a great place to sit and enjoy the comings and going in the bay. It is larger than the old hide and much brighter and airier thanks to large glass viewing slots and windows. The hide, which has been funded thanks to our partnership with Caterpillar, has been erected by a team of volunteers, led by Ron Follows and Dave Cole over the past couple of weeks. Now that the hide is watertight we’ll be installing interpretation and a large screen TV – which will show live images from the nest camera – in the new year.

We are honoured that the Martin Lawrence Memorial Trust will be funding children’s learning resources for the new hide. Martin was a daily visitor to Waderscrape hide and made many friends among the project team. He very sadly died in October this year but we are delighted that his memory will live on through the kind donation and also a permanent memorial in the hide.

A team of six volunteers erected the hide

A team of six volunteers erected the hide

Putting the roof on

Putting the roof on

The new hide is bright and airy

The new hide is bright and airy

Looking back at the hide

Looking back at the hide

Part of the new interpretative material will be funded by a generous donation from the Horse and Jockey pub in nearby Manton. Over the course of the year the Horse and Jockey have included the ‘Osprey’s Nest’ (which is a bowl of nachos and chili) on their menu and each time someone has ordered one, they have donated 50p to the project: which amounted to £292 this year. A huge thank you to owner Jason Allen and all of the Horse and Jockey team. This is the third year that Jason and his team have made a donation to the project and we’re very grateful for their continuing support.

Horse and Jockey owner, Jason Allen (left) and myself with the Osprey's Nest

Horse and Jockey owner, Jason Allen (left) and myself with the Osprey’s Nest

As the work at the hide demonstrates, volunteers are vital to the running of Rutland Water Nature Reserve. We have a hugely dedicated team of over 350 people who help with all aspects of the reserve – from habitat management to welcoming visitors. Work is now underway on a new Volunteer Training Centre at the reserve which will provide much-needed new facilities to support the amazing work of volunteers. We’re currently running an appeal to raise the final funds for this exciting and innovative new building. To find out more, click here.