HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meet Rutland Water volunteers
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall met staff and volunteers at Rutland Water Nature Reserve yesterday, where they found out about plans for important new facilities on the 1,000 acre site.
The Volunteer Training Centre Project will see an essential new building constructed at the reserve to provide much-needed facilities and training spaces for more than 350 volunteers. As one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in the UK, the reserve relies on volunteers to maintain and protect its habitats, helping to secure the future of thousands of species of plants and animals.
After observing wildlife on the reserve, the royal couple attended a reception with volunteers, who explained some of the important work carried out. Staff from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust then showed Their Royal Highnesses the plans for the new Volunteer Training Centre.
Simon Bentley, director of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses to the nature reserve and show them our plans for the Volunteer Training Centre. It’s an extremely important project for us, so we were thrilled by their interest.”
After securing generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Anglian Water, the Trust has launched the Wild Lives at Rutland Water Appeal to raise the final £170,000 needed to complete the Volunteer Training Centre.
Simon added: “We want the reserve to meet its full potential and to do that, we need to be able to recruit and train more volunteers to help maintain the site. The Volunteer Training Centre will provide fit-for-purpose facilities to allow us to do this, so it’s vital that we secure the funding needed to complete the build.”
More than 80,000 people visit the nature reserve - home to the Rutland Osprey Project - each year. Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust volunteers are responsible for much of the work carried out as part of the project, which saw the first ospreys to breed in England for 150 years.
Image: HRH The Prince of Wales meets Trainee Reserve Officer Oliver Grice-Jackson