Environmental Education Centre
The Environmental Education Centre is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
The Centre offers a great learning experience for visiting education and community groups – including a chance to get up close to local wildlife on the surrounding nature reserve throughout the year. You can see wildfowl in the winter and nightingales in the spring, and some are even lucky enough to see an elusive otter. As well as the wildlife outdoors, the Education Centre has a large classroom, spacious veranda and a specially made outdoor learning area.
Visiting school groups have exclusive use of the Education Centre for the day, as well as access to the surrounding Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.
In the school holidays there are often self-guided wildlife activities for families. There are also Wildlife Watch and Greenwatch groups based at Paxton Pits for local children and teenagers.
Outdoor Learning Area
Volunteers spent an amazing 360 days helping to create an outdoor learning area around the Centre. The space, which was once a quarry vehicle depot, now boasts a willow woolly mammoth storytelling area, a performance area, raised ponds, vegetable beds, a mini meadow and a minibeast hotel made out of old boats.
Nectar-rich flowers and trees have been planted to provide a haven for bees and other insects. Local plants, such as viper’s bugloss which is great for bumblebees, and teasel which is a good source of food for birds in the winter, have also self-seeded themselves. Mulleins, the food plant of the mullein moth grow and biting stonecrop – a very drought tolerant plant thrives. New species of insects visit the garden each month.