The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been working on developing Brockholes for nearly 20 years, here is an overview of our journey.
1992 Lancashire Wildlife Trust first contests the quarrying of Brockholes.
27 November 2006 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has four weeks to raise £50,000 to buy the Brockholes site, near Preston, and protect it from development. Brockholes sits next to J31 of the M6 and is the size of 120 football pitches.
15 January 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust makes the biggest land purchase in its history - thanks to donations from Wildlife Trust members, and an investment of £800,000 from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) under the Newlands scheme. The project to buy and develop Brockholes is also supported by The Tubney Charitable Trust.
3 May 2007 Ian Selby is appointed as Brockholes project manager. Ian has 20 years' experience of managing the North West's canal network for British Waterways, followed by environmental regeneration work. Sophie Leadsom, Brockholes' new reserve manager, has worked in conservation for 14 years.
July 2007 The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the launch of a new open competition to design new visitor facilities.
5 October 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the shortlist for the new multi-million pound visitor centre. 61 architects from all over Europe submitted designs. The five were Adam Khan Architects, Arca, Architecture 2B, AY Architects, McDowell + Benedetti.
25 February 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) and partners announce the winner of its competition to design a visitor facility. Adam Khan Architects was selected for its inspirational design concept: "A Floating World". Designed as a cluster of buildings constructed largely of wood and other sustainable materials, it resembles an ancient marshland village.
April 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the completion of its first phase of preparatory work, including the restoration of the wetlands, creation of ponds, seeding of meadows, planting new hedgerows and trees, making access paths and building proper bird watching hides.
March 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust secured £8million of funding from the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA). The investment was made under ‘Newlands’, a NWDA and Forestry Commission programme that is regenerating brownfield land across the Northwest into economically viable community woodland.
Summer 2009 Volunteers gave us 134 hours of their time to help propagate our own reed seedlings on-site. We ended up with 20,000 new redd seedlings ready to plant out around our new visitor centre, creating two hecatres of brand new reedbed.
August 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust were granted detailed planning permission for the site.
December 2009 Contractors first day of work as they begin to construct the iconic floating visitors centre. Press conference being held with a ‘cutting of the first sod’
November 2010 A herd of longhorn cattle move into Brockholes to graze the reserve.
December 2010 BBC Countryfile fronted by Julia Bradbury visit Brockholes to film a feature that airs in January 2011.
March 2011 Brockholes makes history as the Visitor Village is floated for the first time.
Easter Sunday 2011 Brockholes opens its doors to the public for the first time!