As promised is an update on the current opening status of Tophill Low;
Currently forestry work is all but completed, but there is much disruption to footpaths and hides, which is shortly to be compounded by major landscaping work, and as such we are currently unable to admit visitors unsupervised to site; And we must set the expectation this will be the case into the summer.
Whilst it’s a great shame to restrict access to our much-loved reserve, the long-term benefits of new habitats, bird hides, accessible paths, reductions in disturbance to local communities by minimising haulage & carbon emissions, whilst delivering savings for bill payers yet providing facilities we could not fund through the reserve budget alone, mean this short term disruption for visitors is unavoidable.
However, we are conscious that many regulars and visitors are desperate to see the site. As such we’ll be running a series of guided reserve walks. Risk assessing the hazards we can maintain this level of supervised access in the interim.
Places will be strictly book in advance only and are limited in numbers. Initially dates will be through April / May and we’ll add more subject to interest.
The tours will meet at 10am in the car park – again strictly pre-book only. Tours will be approximately 2 miles in length and last 2-2.5hrs in time, where visitors can visit those hides and routes accessible at that time with one of the Warden team showcasing the best wildlife and taking questions on the current projects and work undertaken. Please be aware that many of the paths are very uneven and therefore unfortunately, not accessible to all at this current time.
Please note all participants need to remain together as part of the supervised walk. Our safety policies dictate all persons must be supervised on what is still an operational Water Treatment site, and on all walks we need to don high viz. We will linger for photographic opportunities but we can't leave folks unaccompanied in hides either during or after walks.
All dates and bookings are undertaken online via Eventbrite – Link HERE.
For members (with cards valid to 2020 or 2022) admission is free. For non-members standard admission applies payable at the ticket machine on site.
Note we will still be granting a membership extension to those whom have missed out due to the closures as planned, once we're fully up and running again.
To demonstrate why we’ve been, and why we will be closed to unrestricted access, here’s some images of what we have been undertaking in recent weeks so you can see why having families and folks in camou gear wandering round is just too difficult to manage safely;
Conversion under way on the old wildlife centre;