Attenborough - New And Old
w/e 3 September 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Nature Reserve

It came as something of a surprise to find that it is nearly four years since we walked the Tufted Duck Trail at Attenborough Nature Reserve (see here). But to anyone dropped onto that well worn path, the passage of time has had little effect. That is not to say there have not been any changes and the most obvious one would have to be a new Visitor Centre.
Eco-Friendly Building

Feeding The BirdsWhen I visited Attenborough in January 2004 (left), it was obvious that some construction work was being carried out but I didn't really give it a second thought. Just over a year later on 18th March 2005, the work had been completed and the state-of-the-art eco-friendly building that houses meeting rooms, education facilities, interactive displays, a nature shop and the Reflections Café was opened by well-known TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough. The image above shows the completed Nature Centre (website) sitting on a small island in a lake at the former gravel works and was captured under gathering rain clouds last week.
Through The Window

Waiting for a crumb.A few minutes earlier we had been sitting and drinking coffee in the Reflections Café and looking through the full length windows towards Attenborough Village - notice the church spire - where the skies were much brighter. The Nature Centre is reached by a walkway that incorporates a drawbridge which can be raised to make, and I quote, 'a formidable vandal-proof security barrier'. New reed beds are being constructed under the walkway but many of the water birds have already sussed out that the approach to the building is a good place to lie in wait for visitors (right), many of whom are willing to offer a titbit or two.
Church Pond

Leaving the island by the walkway, we made our way towards the village and passed another even smaller but artificial island in the middle of Church Pond where some of the birds seemed intent on keeping their feet dry.
St Mary's Church

Our objective was St Mary's Church and leaving the Tufted Duck Trail, another path led us into the village. Attenborough dates from Saxon times and derives its name from 'Adenburgh' or 'the settlement of Adda's people'. It is believed that Adda built the first chapel here in 946AD and the present day stone chancel of St. Mary's is thought to have existed in 1042.
Church Interior

By the time we had reached the church, those rain clouds had caught up with us but fortunately the church was open to visitors and we were able to take shelter inside. Like most churches of this age there is much of interest but only room here for these three views showing the South East Window depicting St John, St James and the Blessed Virgin Mary; the interior of the church looking east and the High Altar, the altar top dating from the 16th or 17th century. St Mary's Church provides a striking contrast to the new Nature Centre.

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