Coronavirus and your Wildlife Trust
As you know, coronavirus has changed the way we work. As a Trust, we are absolutely committed to keeping all of our staff, volunteers and visitors safe. This has meant we have had to review all areas of our work, and produce detailed risk assessments for each activity, which will guide the way we operate.
Welcoming you back to wildlife
We are very excited to finally be able to announce that on Friday 10th July, we will lower the drawbridge and welcome you back aboard our floating Visitor Village!
Nature has been busy settling in at Brockholes over these last few months, we can’t wait for you to come and see how the reserve has changed now that summer is here.
The reeds are alive with a heartening collection of birdsong and the lake edges are brimming with brightly coloured dragonflies. Keep an eye out on the paths for newly emerged froglets hopping along, and if you visit on a sunny day and you’ll see a delightful array of butterflies and moths fluttering between wildflowers.
What will be different when I visit?
You will notice some differences when you visit. We have created one-ways systems to keep you safe and we will be encouraging you to appreciate the wider nature reserve once you have used the facilities, so there is space for everyone to enjoy their day.
The toilets will be open and we are offering a take-away service from the Kestrel Kitchen, including a selection of hot drinks, cakes and light snacks. To keep queues moving smoothly we will be running a reduced menu. We might run out of some items if we are very busy - please bear with us as we get used to a new way of working.
So that our staff can maintain safe distances, we will not be opening the shop or the Welcome Centre at this time, although some retail items are available to purchase in the Kestrel Kitchen.
Open 6am-9pm 7 days a week
Open 10am - 4pm, Wednesday - Sunday
Please visit our Facebook page before visiting
We will update you here if our car park becomes full; we need to keep everyone safe and ensure we keep our visitor numbers at a safe level.
Please help us take care of our reserve
We know you are all eager to visit and explore again. Please remember Brockholes is a nature reserve and needs treating with care. Please help us look after this special place by taking your rubbish home or using the bins provided, don’t bring barbecues and remember the reserve is a dog free zone to help protect the wildlife that calls Brockholes home.
For more information about how to visit safely, take a look at our guide below.
When you visit Brockholes again, you will notice some changes to our car parking system. This is all to keep our visitors and staff safe, and to give you as many options as possible for a stress-free, enjoyable day out.
Every time you pay for parking, you are protecting the wildlife at Brockholes for future generations. You are creating a wilder future by allowing our teams to continue their vital conservation work which contributes towards the building of habitats for rare, endangered or unusual species for all people to enjoy.
How to pay for parking
There will be three options for car park payment; whichever you prefer:
- Cash - the usual car park machines will be accepting cash
- Contactless - there will be contactless payment points in a gazebo on the car park - these points will accept Apple/Android pay as well as all contactless cards
- Online - we now have an app which you can download to your smart phone to pay for your parking online. Download 'RingGo', enter your details and find Brockholes.
Staff will be on hand on the car park to help and be your point of contact should you have any queries.
As we begin our phased reopening, please support us in helping to keep all of our staff and visitors safe.
Please be responsible on the play area
Brockholes play area – what to expect
We have been working hard to carry out essential maintenance on our play area to ensure it is ready for you to enjoy. Although it may look the same, things will be a little different. Here’s what you will need to consider when using our play area, and ahead of your visit.
Follow the signs
We have been installing a large amount of signage to help guide you through your visit. Please make sure you follow the instructions and help keep all our staff and visitors safe. Sometimes these signs are damaged or removed throughout the course of the day, if you are unsure please speak to a members of staff.
You will notice that each piece of equipment will have a maximum number of people at one time on it. Please make sure you read all signs before using the equipment. If the maximum number has already been reached, please wait away from the equipment and at a safe social distance from others.
We recommend bringing hand sanitiser with you
Although we will have hand sanitiser available by the car park machines, it is not possible to install hand sanitising stations at the play area as we will be unable to keep these secure. We recommend bringing hand sanitiser with you and using it on your children’s hands before and after play.
Supervising your child
We know that time as a family is precious and we want to help you enjoy those family nature moments as much as possible during your visit. If the play area is busy, please keep to one adult only closely supervising to allow for social distancing.
Cleaning of equipment
We will be introducing a regular schedule of cleaning for high contact areas, however it is not possible for us to clean the play area in between each use by each child. We recommend you bringing anti-bacterial wipes to clean handles before your child uses the equipment.
Remember, keep your distance
We know it’s easy to get carried away when you’re having fun, but please remember to keep a safe social distance from others at all times, and remind your children to do the same. Keep 2 metres apart from other households, and help everyone have a happy and healthy visit.
Frequently asked questions
Why have other areas opened before you?
Every organisation is different, as is every site. We are taking great care in assessing each individual site and activity, and this takes time with a small team. We have the added challenge of ensuring our larger reserves are not overwhelmed by an influx of large visitor numbers and we do not have the ability to introduce a booking system, due to our limited funds and also the nature of all of our multi-access point sites.
When will the Visitor Village re-open?
Our small team is working incredibly hard to get the Visitor Village ready for visitors. As it is a unique floating building, the maintenance required to re-start the systems takes much longer than a standard building. We understand that some visitors will want to wait until the facilities are open before coming to Brockholes, and we hope that will be very soon. The opening of the Visitor Village will include the Kestrel Kitchen with a take away food option, and the toilets.
Why have your opening hours changed?
As we enter a phased reopening, we will still need to access the Government's job retention scheme in order to ensure the Trust can survive financially into the future. Many of our income streams are still on ‘pause’ and our phased re-opening will also mean a phased return of staff. We will adapt our opening hours around this, in order to ensure a safe visit for all. As guidelines change and restrictions lift further, we will be able to move to wider opening hours.
Why do we need to pay for parking?
There is no entry fee at Brockholes but we do operate car parking charges. We wanted to open the car park as soon as we can, as we know that some people will happily visit without the toilets being open for now. The car parking charge will remain at £5 when the car park opens. This money is vital to help us maintain the nature reserve; it costs £2,000 every day to run Brockholes and as we don’t receive government funding it is this income that means we can keep Brockholes as a nice place to visit! It enables us to keep the paths safe and clear for visitors, fill our bird feeders, look after the reedbeds, maintain the play area, train our volunteers and much more.
Our reserve officers have continued to care for Brockholes during lockdown, behind closed doors and we have had no income since mid-March. It is important we build up our income again to ensure we can continue to maintain the site and look after the wonderful wildlife you can see while walking around. We need the support of local people more than ever, so we can continue to keep Brockholes special. Thank you.
Can we buy food and drink?
At the moment, the Kestrel Kitchen is closed, but we are working hard to get it open with a takeaway food option as soon as possible. For the time being, light refreshments will be available from the gazebo on the car park, but please bring your own refreshments, and please take your litter home with you.
Can I bring my dog for a walk?
As always, Brockholes is a dog-free zone. Please do not bring your dogs to Brockholes.
We accept that there are many responsible owners but, unfortunately, just a couple of dogs running wild would affect the wildlife and spoil areas where people walk and children play. For example if your dog was to get too close to a nesting bird it would cause the mother to leave the nest.
People walking around the Guild Wheel can pass through Brockholes with well-behaved pets but they must stick to the path and not stray onto the reserve itself. You can see plenty of wildlife from this popular path.