NATS celebrates 20th anniversary of Swanwick Reserve
NATS marked the 20th anniversary of Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve on the 18 June, with a celebratory event at the Reserve, organised in conjunction with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT).
The event brought together NATS and HIWWT employees that have worked together to make the Reserve such a success and included the unveiling of an especially made entrance sign by Jean Hedley, MBE, President of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, to mark the occasion.
At the Swanwick centre in Hampshire and in partnership with the HIWWT, NATS created and continue to fund the 86 acre Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve. It features scenic lakes, woods and grassland, in what was once a brick quarry and sits alongside the Swanwick air traffic control centre. In addition to its rich habitat, there are over two miles of paths around the lakes and woods, which provide a valuable space for local people to relax and learn about nature.
Paul Hughes, Facilities Manager South for NATS, is responsible for managing the partnership with the HIWWT and said: “The green spaces alongside our sites, and particularly here at Swanwick, provide a habitat for a diverse range of species to live in and we recognise the importance of protecting these areas as well as providing a local amenity for the community to enjoy. Everybody involved is extremely proud of what has been achieved since the reserve’s inception 20 years ago and we look forward to many more years of milestones.”
During 2012 the educational centre, embedded within the reserve, hosted almost 1000 local school children, 30 community groups and 30 public events, providing the opportunity for visitors of all ages and abilities to explore and learn about the countryside.
Dr David Rumble, Strategic Head of Conservation and Education at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “Swanwick Lakes is a special place which has helped a generation of children understand and value the natural world. It is also a cherished space for the local community to experience a surprising diversity of wildlife. The Trust has enjoyed a productive partnership with NATS over the last 20 years and together we have achieved a great deal.”