Field centre hope for bird watch point

SUFFOLK'S southernmost point has an international reputation for the migratory birds its attracts – and now it is hoping to have a field centre to match.

SUFFOLK'S southernmost point has an international reputation for the migratory birds its attracts – and now it is hoping to have a field centre to match.

Birdwatchers are trying to raise £22,000 to turn part of historic Landguard Fort into a haven for ornithologists from all over Britain and the continent.

But the field studies centre and educational unit would also be used by local people, too, especially schools and other interested groups.

The Landguard Conservation Trust – formerly the Landguard Bird Observatory – has been offered a £10,000 grant by the Suffolk Environmental Trust and has applied for National Lottery help.


You may also want to watch:


Suffolk Coastal council's grants task group will decide in January whether to also give grant aid, once it has heard if the town council is supporting the project.

Major funding sources are also being investigated for future development at the monument.

Most Read

The trust wants to transform the Right Battery – the commander's watch tower – into a field studies and learning centre of international repute, with people coming for courses, daily opening to the public, and the conversion of former soldiers' accommodation blocks into new accommodation for people to stay for courses at the fort and in the area.

A full-time live-in manager would be employed to look after health and safety, security and visitor management.

Suffolk Coastal's countryside manager John Davies said the project is supported by all the interests working on the Landguard peninsula.

"The group commits 3,000 to 4,000 hours of volunteer time to its work each year and the information obtained from long-term ringing studies of bird migration has been fed into an international study," he said.

"In the process the group has put the Landguard peninsula on the international scientific map."

Officials from the trust have been liasing with fort owners English Heritage over their proposals. The main cost of the first stage is the installation of toilets and sewage treatment equipment, plus fixtures and fittings.

Landguard, a Site of Special Scientific Interest sandwiched between the port and the North Sea, attracts around 500,000 people each year to visit the nature reserve, the fort, Felixstowe Museum, and watch the port and shipping.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter