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From humble beginnings...

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been working on developing Brockholes for nearly 25 years! It has been a long and ultimately rewarding journey that has seen the land develop from a huge quarrying site into the vibrant nature reserve that it is today.

Key Landmarks


The Lancashire Wildlife Trust first contested the quarrying of Brockholes.

November 2006

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust had four weeks to raise £50,000 to buy the Brockholes site and protect it from development.

January 2007

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust made 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 was also supported by The Tubney Charitable Trust.

July 2007

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the launch of a new open competition to design Brockholes new visitor centre.

25 February 2008 

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust and partners announced the winner of its competition to design a visitor facility. 

Adam Khan Architects was selected for its inspirational design concept entitled 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 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 bird watching hides.

March 2009 

Lancashire Wildlife Trust secured £8million of funding from the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

Summer 2009

Our amazing Volunteers gave us up over 100 hours of their time to help propagate 20,000 of our own reed seedlings on-site, around the new visitor centre.

August 2009

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust was granted detailed planning permission for the site.

December 2009

Contractors began to construct the iconic floating visitor centre. You can see the build progress in the time lapse video at the bottom of this page.

November 2010

A herd of longhorn cattle moved into Brockholes to graze the reserve.

March 2011

Brockholes made history as the Visitor Village is floated for the first time!

Easter Sunday 2011

Brockholes opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Spring 2012

Brockholes won a record breaking three RIBA awards including ‘North West Building of the Year’.

August 2012 

Brockholes hosted its very first wedding. As of July 2019, 118 happy couples had tied the knot here!

November 2013 

Brockholes won the Best Conference/Meeting Venue of the Year at the highly prestigious Lancashire Tourism Awards.

April 2014

We had eight bird species including curlew, oystercatcher and avocet breeding on No 1 Pit, making it one of the country’s leading sites for such activity.

Winter 2014/15

Five different types of heron were recorded on the reserve – little egret, grey heron, great white egret, night heron and bittern – impressive for any site here in the UK.

April 2016 

Brockholes celebrated its 5th birthday with a fantastic day-long party open to all… and a cake!

May 2016

Brockholes had Lancashire’s first recorded sighting of the (very rare) pallid harrier!

August 2016 

The Tesco Bags of Help scheme funded our much-loved Wind in the Willows Trail.

April 2017 

Countryfile came a-calling to film our brown hares for Easter.

June 2017 

Brockholes was named ‘Best Hospitality Venue of the Year’ at the Lancashire Business Awards!

September 2017

We welcomed our one millionth visitor, awarding them a Lifetime Visitor Pass.

October 2017 

Prince Harry visited Brockholes to meet the young people taking part in the Myplace project.