Lots of Half Term fun is lined up as Warnham Local Nature Reserve declares its new Discovery Trail open to visitors from Monday 28 October, just in time for the school holidays.
The Discovery Trail, designed for visitors of all ages, follows the paths and boardwalks that surround the Reserve’s millpond. It is packed with information about the wildlife, flora and fauna that call the Reserve home. There are stories from the site’s history, as well as a host of fun facts designed to appeal to all ages.
Younger visitors have the chance to become ‘Junior Trail Detectives’ by completing the trail, finding six hidden rubbing plates and completing the quizzes and puzzles all aimed at providing a fun introduction to the life on the Reserve.
The Trail is populated with “Did you know?” facts, rubbing panels to create nature pictures and there are activity sheets with quizzes, wildlife word searches and maths conundrums.
Additionally, as part of the Trail there are two special new sculptures: the Bat Bothy and the Tri-Helix, which were both created as part of the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 ‘Field Notes from Warnham’ project, leaving a lasting legacy of the year of celebrations.
On Friday 1 November, you are invited to come along with your families from 1.15pm to 2pm and 2.30pm to 3.15pm when a special woodland celebrity visitor will be on site to meet you.
Commenting on the new addition to all the activities on offer at the Reserve, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Jonathan Chowen, said: “I am delighted that we have now opened the new Discovery Trail.
“We very much want to encourage visitors old and new, of all ages, to come to the Reserve and discover not only the wide variety of wildlife, flora and fauna that thrive in the wetlands, but also appreciate the important part that this land has played in shaping our District, from its historical links to the iron industry, to its modern day home for Herons and Kingfishers.
“Our aim is to inspire the next generation to learn about the Reserve and how to protect it.”
The Discovery Trail forms an initial part of a larger project – the Discovery Hub Project, which is being partly funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development who support investment in public recreational infrastructure.
Horsham District Council and the Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve have also added funds to the project, with grants of £90,000 and £10,000 respectively. The Discovery Hub and the creation of a Shelley themed garden at the entrance to the Reserve will be opened in 2020.
With a long history of being biodiversity rich, Warnham Local Nature Reserve is one of the most significant sites in the county for wildlife and flora. The Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre positions the Reserve in third place in terms of being species rich due to the wide range of habitats that are nurtured there.