Landmark event at nature reserve as it reaches 500,000 visitor milestone

Caroline Found, visitor experience manager at RSPB Saltholme, with 500,000th visitor Beverley Boden, her daughter Summer, and  volunteer Stuart Ford.

Caroline Found, visitor experience manager at RSPB Saltholme, with 500,000th visitor Beverley Boden, her daughter Summer, and volunteer Stuart Ford.

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A nature reserve has welcomed a very special visitor.

Bev Boden and her daughter Summer became RSPB Saltholme’s 500,000th visitor.

They were presented with a luxury bug hotel to take home and install in their garden.

The nature reserve, in Seaton Carew Road, is a massive attraction with the public thanks to its views over an industrial landscape, with a state-of-the-art building in the centre of a huge wetland.

Officials say the new visitor figure is a real testament to all the effort that’s gone in to reach the RSPB goal of connecting more people with their natural surroundings.

Dave Braithwaite, Saltholme’s site manager, said: “We’re extremely proud to have reached our 500,000th visitor, and have worked incredibly hard to reach this point.

“Staff and volunteers have put in hours of their time in developing projects, running events and taking care of the wildlife onsite in order to make it more accessible and engaging for those that come here.

“Reaching this milestone while spring in full swing is particularly special for us, as the reserve is becoming more and more vibrant by the day.”

As well as the visitor centre offering stunning views, three architect-designed hides bring visitors closer to the wildlife that call the reserve home.

All manner of plants and flowers bloom in the walled wildlife garden, designed by celebrity gardener Chris Beardshaw, and species such as the common tern, water rail garganey and the impressive great crested grebe can all be seen on the reserve at this time of year.

For more information about visiting RSPB Saltholme, visit: rspb.org.uk/saltholme, or call (01642) 546625.