Rutland Water osprey webcam to stay live all year and Lyndon Nature Reserve visitor centre unveils new autumn/winter opening
Rutland Water is hoping to boost visitor numbers after deciding to keep its revamped visitors centre open throughout the year.
The Lyndon Nature Reserve visitor centre normally closes from October to March - fitted around the annual osprey migration - but will now be open daily from 10am to 3pm.
An extended programme of activities has been planned, including children’s nature trails, as well as special events.
The centre and bird hides have also undergone a makeover after the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust teamed up with Leicester-based arts group Graffwerk who have created wildlife murals.
"Their work is amazing and what they have created for the visitor centre is brilliant," said Lyndon Visitor Centre manager Laura Brady.
She added: "There are floor-to-ceiling windows on one side of the centre which give visitors a great view across the water and to our birdfeeders, and we have panels set up in front of the windows to help you identify the species you spot."
The centre has a new layout and new interpretation panels, and visitors can also watch the osprey webcam live which will now be kept on all year round.
The star osprey pair using the Manton Bay nest have left for warmer climes, but the new camera installed on the nest last year can now be trained on other habitats.
A swimming otter has already been spotted.
Ken Davies, LRWT osprey education officer said: “We can now change the angle of the camera and focus on the banks and other parts of the reserve.
“We’ve had thousands of people watching it from all over the world and it has been such a success why switch it off?”
Eight breeding pairs of ospreys have raised 19 chicks at the reservoir this summer, taking the total past the 200-chick mark since the programme began in 2001.
But ospreys are not the only show in town and after their return to West Africa, migrating wildfowl fill the void, including wigeon, goldeneye and teal, with great northern diver and flocks of fieldfare and redwings also making an appearance.
“Although the ospreys have gone, that is not the end of it," Ken added.
“Rutland Water is also famous for its winter wildfowl which will be arriving soon, coming from the north to spend the winter with us.”