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Rutland Water celebrates opening of osprey hide

A new osprey hide has opened on Rutland Water in memory of an avid bird watcher.

Mike Gale, 60, of Glen Parva donated £2,234 in memory of Helene Arnold, who died of lung cancer in 2017 aged 58.

The donation led to more than £20,000 being received from other organisations to help fund the hide.

Mike said: "Helene and I spent many hours birdwatching and as we lived in Leicester, visited the reserve at Rutland Water a great deal.

"I wanted some kind of memorial for Helene and I got into contact with Matt Cottam at the reserve. He mentioned that they were looking to renew the Shallow Water Hide at the Lyndon VC and was I interested in donating to this.

"This seemed ideal to me as Helene and I enjoyed using the hides and the Shallow Water Hide is particularly good as it is opposite the Osprey nesting platform."

Dr Matt Cottam, Reserve Manager of the Rutland Water Nature Reserve confirmed: "Mike’s donation enabled us (the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust) to approach GrantScape, to secure the financial backing of Augean PLC, and the King’s Cliffe and Thornhaugh Environmental Association through the Augean Community Fund, to complete construction."

"The new hide was constructed by the staff and volunteers of Rutland Water Nature Reserve, and enjoys the best views of the Osprey nest in Manton Bay."

An official opening ceremony was performed by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Sarah Furness.

Dr Furness thanked Mike Gale for his donation and the hard work of the staff and volunteers of the nature reserve.

She added: "The new hide had been much needed because the shallow Water hide here in Manton Bay provides the very best views of an osprey nest on the reserve.

"The old hide was a victim of its great location. It often became crowded with watchers and photographers vying for space. At times instead of watching being a peaceful experience it could become frustrating with limited accessibility because of numbers.

"The new hide now provides two storey accommodation – and much more of it. It is now possible to separate photographers and their equipment from those who have simply come to watch.

"The magic of peacefully watching, or photographing, and becoming absorbed in the tranquil scenes on the water has returned. The hide means everyone who wishes can peacefully enjoy this prime spot with its treasured view."

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