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Natural England are pleased to announce that funding has now been secured for the development of new facilities at the Avalon Marshes Centre that will much improve the experience of visitors to the Avalon Marshes Landscape and its many nature reserves. Works will include upgrading of the Craft Centre, an improved sewerage system and a new joint office for the conservation organisations that manage the nationally important nature reserves. This work will also complement the historical reconstructions that are under construction by South West Heritage Trust and act as a catalyst to further develop the education and engagement activities on site. Though there will be disruption we plan to keep the site as operational as possible during this busy period and both Somerset Crafts and Eco friendly bites will be open for business as usual.
Natural England’s Management Contractors have been appointed and are on site. The works taking place mean there will be changes to the layout of the site and Natural England and its partners will be using email, Facebook and Twitter to keep people informed. The first changes are:
- Temporary toilets will be positioned just behind the Craft Centre adjacent to the Lifelong Learning Centre (south end of the site). These should be operational by Monday 6th February
- The North (Westhay) entrance to the centre will be shut to public access during week commencing 6th February. This entrance will become the main construction works access.
- The existing toilets will be re-located to the area in front of the café. It is hoped to have these operational by Friday 17th February.
- The Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT) and RSPB portacabins are being re-moved on Monday 13th February. SWT’s reserve staff are now located in Natural England’s office (their new phone number is 01458 860556) and the RSPB’s cabin will re-located at the end of the Natural England offices.
- Eco Friendly bites will be closed on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th February but the Craft centre and Somerset Crafts will remain open.
The next stages, later in February and early March, are:
- The external refurbishment of the Craft Centre. This includes the replacement of the windows and doors.
- Some minimal internal work inside the Craft Centre
- Construction of a reedbed within the old Peat Moors Centre
- A small pipeline through the car park. This will link the new underground sewerage system (to be built in September) with the final cleansing reedbed.
Further works will be taking place over the year and we will provide updates on these at a later date.
If you have any queries regarding this work please do not hesitate in contacting Natural England on 01458 860120 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org