Located on one of the few undeveloped stretches of the Sussex coast, Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve is an internationally important wetland site for wildlife where visitors can watch black tailed godwits and little egrets by day, then linger for amazing sunsets on clear days. The site is managed by the RSPB, one of our longstanding clients, and they asked us to develop a series of structures that included pond dipping platforms, an activity centre, and a bird hide for the ongoing enjoyment of visitors.
One of the key requirements of this site was to make accessible structures, offering something for all visitors, irregardless of their mobility. We ensured that the bird hide had an access ramp and created flat entrances for one of the pond dipping platforms and the activity centre.
We have made many bird hides over the years, many of which have been designed to promote access for all. The main hide that we made at Pagham Harbour features a gently sloping access ramp and a nature watching window that we designed specifically so that wheelchair users can enjoy nature. The hide features a covered area at the entrance and shuttered windows that can be locked open or shut.
We built an activity shelter that offers community activities in a sheltered environment. The activity shelter has a central table and fold out seating around the walls, and collects rain water in two large tanks. On the outside of the activity shelter, we built four large insect hotels, suitable for insects such as lacewings, hoverflies, ladybirds, beetles, earwigs, and solitary bees to nest in. Offering a nesting place for solitary bees is particularly important because whilst one may normally think of sociable honeybees or large furry bumblebees when we think of bees, 90% of the 267 species of bee in the UK are actually solitary bees – this means they live alone, not in colonies – and they need places to nest to ensure we have a continuing supply of food. Solitary bees are fantastic pollinators and crucial to our food supplies – a single red mason bee is equivalent to 120 worker honeybees in the pollination it provides.
We made two pond dipping platforms – one that is curved and another that is straight with wheelchair access. These photos were taken immediately after we completed the installation, thus the pond is not filled, but we will update them with completed photos when the pond has been filled.
Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us via email or phone to discuss your own project – we are only too happy to help, and can work from strict plans or make designs completely from scratch to fit your needs. We can also incorporate any design with other features to compliment your natural setting such as boardwalks, dipping platforms, and observation decks / viewing platforms.
We look forward to hearing from you.