Railway Land Wildlife Trust double celebrations

by Sarah Ryman Events

The Railway Land Wildlif Trust invite you to their Celebration Event.

Sunday 22 March, 2-5pm, on the Railway Land, Lewes.

Two major projects have recently been completed in the Railway Land Nature Reserve. The Signal Box, which had been standing empty for some years, has now been repurposed into a Wildlife Hide, giving visitors panoramic views of the beautiful water meadows and its wildlife on the Railway Land.

At the same time, the most recent section of the Egrets Way, which runs between Ham Lane and the Linklater Centre, has been constructed. This is the latest addition to the Egrets Way network of paths which, when completed, will connect Newhaven, Lewes and the villages in the Lower Ouse Valley.

The new section of the Egrets Way, which will be available to all non-motorised users, is an extension of the existing Egrets Way path which originally terminated on Ham Lane near the entrance to the Lewes Recycling Centre. This section is 800 metres long and runs through a section of privately owned land before passing under the railway line and continuing through the Railway Land where it ends at the Linklater Centre.

The funding for its construction was provided by the South Downs National Park, the EU Rural Enterprise (LEADER) Fund, Lewes Town Council and private donations made to the Egrets Way project.

To celebrate the completion of the Egrets Way path and the opening of the Signal Box as a Hide the Railway Land Wildlife Trust will be hosting the event on the afternoon of the 22nd March where everyone will have the chance to observe and enjoy nature from the repurposed Wildlife Hide or while walking or cycling along the path.

Refurbishment of the Signal Box included replacing damaged wood panel, weatherproofing and cutting a flap in the east side of the box to enable observation of the vast and varied environment on the reserve. A loft has also been built into the Hide to encourage bats to roost and nesting boxes have been fixed to the exterior to encourage swifts and swallows to nest there. When the repairs to the woodwork were completed, volunteers from the South Downs Rangers sanded the surfaces and repainted the box in the green and cream colours of the original, using paints donated by local paint company, March and Son.

The celebration event on 22nd March will include information points both at the Linklater Pavilion and at the Hide itself, activities for all the family and volunteers available to talk about the path and the Hide.

For further information please visit railwaylandproject.org

The Railway Land Wildlife Trust

The 25 acre site of the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve was once railway sidings and the embankment of the former Lewes-Uckfield branch line.

After the line closed the area became derelict and, as developers closed in, residents worked together to have the land designated as a nature reserve. In 1988, The Railway Land Wildlife Trust was formed and in 1995 the site was declared a Local Nature Reserve.

The Linklater Pavilion was built in in 2010. It’s now the hub of activity connecting local people with the environment and has become the landmark environmental education centre for Lewes.

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