News - New Visitor Centre Opens Gateway to the Stour

NEW - Friday, 20th May 2016 // UPDATED - Tuesday, 24th May 2016

UPDATED - Tuesday, 24th May 2016

Email from Councillor Anne Rey to Bournemouth Daily Echo
23rd May 2016
Kingfisher Barn

Dear Sirs

As part of a programme of improvements Bournemouth Council in partnership with the RSPB have developed the Kingfisher Barn Visitor Centre and Wildlife Garden in Granby Road Muscliff. This is a wonderful project and I thank all the staff involved including the Stour Valley Rangers, the volunteers, parks staff and of course the RSPB. My dear friend and Ward colleague Hon. Freeman Ron Whittaker would have been thrilled with the centre and the improved facilities at the gateway to the Stour Valley an area he loved so much.

There will be a range of exciting and creative events to raise the awareness of this natural area with the community. I would urge everyone who is interested in nature and the beautiful River Stour to visit Kingfisher Barn and the facilities there the children will enjoy the pond and river dipping and a wild art club to name just a few of the events.

The formal opening will be later this year when a plaque will be installed above one of the sculptured benches in memory of Ron Whittaker who did so much for Muscliff and Throop.

Yours sincerely,
Anne Rey Throop and Muscliff Ward Councillor

NEW - Friday, 20th May 2016

New Visitor Centre Opens Gateway to the Stour

Discover the riverside and encounter otters at this hidden gem in Muscliff when Kingfisher Barn opens on May 23rd. The new visitor centre and wildlife garden is part of the Bournemouth Borough Council 'Explore the Stour' regeneration project.

New Visitor Centre Stour, Bournemouth

Councillor Lawrence Williams, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure & The Arts said, "Kingfisher Barn provides a gateway to a beautiful three-mile stretch of river. The creative and informative events will enable all members of the community to engage with, and enjoy, the nature that is on our doorstep."

The RSPB is working in partnership with Bournemouth Parks over a two-year period, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to run activities and events which raise awareness and understanding about the Stour Valley, its wildlife and cultural heritage, amongst the local community and schools. The project to convert the Kingfisher Barn, including the installation of displays, exhibitions, and activities is costing around £155,000, with the majority funded by Heritage Lottery and other grants.

Tom Clarke, Project Development Manager for the RSPB commented "We are delighted to be working with Bournemouth Borough Council and the local community, delivering a range of visitor activities and experiences, including the chance for local people to see wildlife such as kingfishers and otters first hand, in such a picturesque setting."

Nature orientated activities will be running throughout the opening week for children and adults, including pond dipping, arts and crafts, moth mornings and wildlife walks. Local sculptor Richard Austin, who will be carving a giant redwood 'talking' bench and way-marking posts for the river bank, will also be at the centre, along with our artist in residence Heidi Steller. Children from Muscliff School will be recording their stories and poems about the river Stour for the talking bench installation.

The opening exhibit showcases the 'Explore the Stour' project. Find out how to get involved, whilst enjoying a tea or coffee in the new wildlife garden. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to chat to visitors. Kingfisher Barn is situated next to the car park at Granby Road, BH9 3NZ.

Further information on the opening events and exhibits