Attenborough - New And Old
w/e 3 September 2006
All this week's
pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
It came as something of a surprise to find that it is nearly
four years since we walked the Tufted Duck Trail at Attenborough
Nature Reserve (see here).
But to anyone dropped onto that well worn path, the passage of
time has had little effect. That is not to say there have not
been any changes and the most obvious one would have to be a
new Visitor Centre.
I visited Attenborough in January 2004 (left), it was obvious
that some construction work was being carried out but I didn't
really give it a second thought. Just over a year later on 18th
March 2005, the work had been completed and the state-of-the-art
eco-friendly building that houses meeting rooms, education facilities,
interactive displays, a nature shop and the Reflections Café
was opened by well-known TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
The image above shows the completed Nature Centre (website) sitting on a small island in a lake
at the former gravel works and was captured under gathering rain
clouds last week.
minutes earlier we had been sitting and drinking coffee in the
Reflections Café and looking through the full length windows
towards Attenborough Village - notice the church spire - where
the skies were much brighter. The Nature Centre is reached by
a walkway that incorporates a drawbridge which can be raised
to make, and I quote, 'a formidable vandal-proof security barrier'.
New reed beds are being constructed under the walkway but many
of the water birds have already sussed out that the approach
to the building is a good place to lie in wait for visitors (right),
many of whom are willing to offer a titbit or two.
Leaving the island by the walkway, we made our way towards the
village and passed another even smaller but artificial island
in the middle of Church Pond where some of the birds seemed intent
on keeping their feet dry.
Our objective was St Mary's Church and leaving the Tufted Duck
Trail, another path led us into the village. Attenborough dates
from Saxon times and derives its name from 'Adenburgh' or 'the
settlement of Adda's people'. It is believed that Adda built
the first chapel here in 946AD and the present day stone chancel
of St. Mary's is thought to have existed in 1042.
By the time we had reached the church, those rain clouds had
caught up with us but fortunately the church was open to visitors
and we were able to take shelter inside. Like most churches of
this age there is much of interest but only room here for these
three views showing the South East Window depicting St John,
St James and the Blessed Virgin Mary; the interior of the church
looking east and the High Altar, the altar top dating from the
16th or 17th century. St Mary's Church provides a striking contrast
to the new Nature Centre.