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Ospreys, concerts and weddings at new Dyfi Wildlife Centre.

A PS1.1M wildlife centre with a 100-seater auditorium is to be built in the middle of a peat bog in Mid Wales.

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust has secured Heritage Lottery funding for the ambitious project at its Cors Dyfi Reserve, one of the few lowland peat bogs left in Wales.

As well as showcasing the reserve's rich biodiversity, including its iconic ospreys, the Dyfi Wildlife Centre will feature the area's cultural, industrial and natural heritage.

Up to 60,000 visitors annually are expected at the facility, due to open in spring 2020.

A parallel project will also fund work to re-introduce beavers to the reserve.

Dyfi projects manager Emyr Evans said the new visitor centre was the "dawn of a new era" for the reserve.

"For 10 years we have been adding various elements to our visitor amenities but they are beginning to resemble tired, bolt-on features," he said.

"This project allows us to build a great new visitor centre in mid Wales that will give adults and children alike an amazing experience of the ospreys, wildlife and the rich heritage of the Dyfi River."

The Dyfi Wildlife Centre will be built alongside the reserve's 360 Observatory, a three-storey viewing platform built four years ago, also with Heritage Lottery funding.

The new facility will include an exhibition centre which will double as a 100-seater venue for talks, workshops and concerts.

Wildlife lovers will even be able to marry at the centre.

"People ask all the time to marry in the 360 Observatory!" said Emyr.

"We will now be able to open for eight months of the year instead of five as well as hosting special events during the winter months."

The new building will be raised one metre off ground level on steel pilings to enable wildlife to move freely below it.

It will be constructed from reclaimed materials such as pallets, coins and newspapers, and will have a 50kW solar panel system.

Car park capacity will double to around 50 vehicles and extra decking will be installed.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 21, 2018
Words:338
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