We've had plenty of requests as to when Tophill Low is set to re-open as you'd imagine! Things have been moving apace (both forwards and backwards) in recent weeks and we've been keen to maintain a consistent plan rather than have to react to every change - as some reserves have had to close services again after trying to reopen. In addition the volume of anti-social behaviour we've seen on other sites has both stretched our resources elsewhere, and not encouraged us to open the reserve we care very much about to be at the font of that queue.
From a basic reserve perspective we are relatively ready to go with the Water Treatment Works team approving our signage and access plans for site to keep the engineers safe. The easing measures like the 1m rule, and finally not having to decide whether we are a ticketed attraction or a zoo makes things much simpler!. The issue at present is no longer COVID directly; More the ongoing impacts of being closed for so long and that we have been unable to sort tree hazards and the restarting of flood repairs.
We are currently aiming to re-open Tophill Low in mid-late July at present based upon resolving tree hazards, getting paths and hides sorted with our established volunteers from next week, and sorting out a safe access with BAM Nutall - the Environment Agency's contractors whom are intensively working over the next three weeks to get as much HGV movements and materials to site as possible before opening and minimise risk to the public.
The 9th of July we have cross organisation meeting to review hazards and resolve them the following week. So on the 10th of July we will be putting an update out on a definitive re-opening date with full details on updated discounted membership rates and how COVID restrictons will impact on site use for everyone.
So the end is in site! As we lead up to opening we'll update on some of the wildlife which has successfully bred in 2020 at Tophill. We look forward to welcoming everyone back very soon.