Former MP helps trust reach key point in centre project

Pictured, from left, are Mike Pratt (Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive), Christine Hall (Northumberland Wildlife Trust Hauxley volunteer), Henry Amos (architect, Bright Blue Studio) and Chris Mulllin (Northumberland Wildlife Trust president and chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund's North East Committee). Picture by Anna Williams.
Pictured, from left, are Mike Pratt (Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive), Christine Hall (Northumberland Wildlife Trust Hauxley volunteer), Henry Amos (architect, Bright Blue Studio) and Chris Mulllin (Northumberland Wildlife Trust president and chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund's North East Committee). Picture by Anna Williams.

The first straw bale has been put in place to kick-start start the construction of Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s (NWT’s) new Wildlife Discovery Centre.

Chris Mullin – author, journalist, former MP for Sunderland South (1987-2010), president of NWT and chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF’s) North East Committee – was delighted to be given the task of manoeuvring the bale into position on the charity’s Hauxley reserve on Druridge Bay.

It was placed on a wooden base plate and held in place by a row of wooden spikes made from hazel trees grown on the reserve.

The base plate rests on gabion baskets filled with stone from Howick Quarry, which in turn sit on top of a foundation trench.

Mr Mullin said: “This is going to be a brilliant facility. I can’t wait to see it up and running.”

Earlier this year, the trust received a grant of £417,400 from the HLF for its Dynamic Druridge project – a large part of which is being spent on the new building.

It is being constructed from the landscape and has the potential to be the greenest building in the North East, using locally grown and traditional building materials.

You can follow its progress at www.facebook.com/HauxleyNatureReserve

Meanwhile, the NWT is encouraging families to check out its reserves during the summer holidays.

It has more than 60 sites within Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside and they are all free. For more details, visit www.nwt.org.uk/wildlife/reserves