Dudley Council
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New warden’s base in place at Saltwells

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The much-awaited new Warden’s Base arrived at Saltwells National Nature Reserve yesterday and its construction captured by time lapse photography.

The £450,000 base was delivered in pieces, each swung into piece by a crane and assembled by a crew on the ground. It was captured in high speed time lapse by local volunteer and professional photographer David Glover who has been documenting the progress of the build from the very first site surveys.

The new base is the icing on the cake for the popular reserve which was awarded National Nature Reserve Status by Natural England just last month.

The building will provide a much-needed base for Dudley Council’s wardens and people who volunteer at the 247 acre green space.

It will also act as an education centre for school groups and community activities and sessions. There is also ambition to develop the council’s apprenticeship programme by providing a training facility for City and Guilds Landscape apprenticeships. The reserve already runs a range of events, including bluebell walks, green woodworking and currently hosts one of the largest health walks in the borough.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, said:

We are incredibly proud of Saltwells National Nature Reserve which has recently been recognised by Natural England for its geological importance.
Bringing this new base to the reserve will mean that we can offer even more to our visitors. Our wardens will have a dedicated base to work from and the Friends and volunteers, who do such important work on the reserve will also have an official home.
We still need to continue with the internal fit out, in the New Year, but I can’t wait to see it when it’s up and running and part of the Saltwells community.

Local volunteer and professional photographer David Glover of David Robert Photography, said:

It’s been really exciting to watch and document the build from the very beginning when this was just grassland, to bringing in the diggers, seeing the foundations and utilities being laid, right through to the delivery and installation of the unit.
It was great fun to make the video and I hope people enjoy watching it and of course, visiting the reserve.

The site work and internal fit out is expected to be completed in the New Year and landscaping will follow. The wardens are hoping to start booking in visits for community groups in the new year as covid-restrictions allow.

People can find out more about Saltwells at www.dudley.gov.uk and follow the reserve on twitter and facebook @DudleyNature

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