The 360 Observatory offers a chance to get up close to nature, and in particular to the rare ospreys that nest nearby.
Set in the middle of a 35 acre wetland, the three-floor observatory overlooks the habitat of many rare plant and animal species. Inside, the site provides hi-tech equipment to take in the 360-degree view, with a state-of-the-art boardwalk made from recyclable materials, enabling site access for all.
Many rare birds including ospreys can be seen from the observatory. With live webcams showing osprey chicks hatching, these star performers have been featured on Springwatch.
The Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust is connecting people with nature, and more than 31,000 people visited the attraction last year to get close to birds, insects, reptiles and mammals, including water buffalos, grazing by the water pools.
This has helped increase tourism in the area of Machynlleth, Wales, boosting the local economy.
Project manager Emyr Evans says: “There isn’t a building anywhere in Britain like it. You can see up, down, left and right, and people can interact with the birds up-close.”
The project benefits volunteers, especially the older ones, some of whom were lonely before taking part. The observatory is an excellent way for them to pass the time and chat to people.”
More than 120 volunteers donated over 11,000 hours of their time to the project last year. To date, over 500 moth species, 17 dragonfly species and three newt species have been recorded and photographed.
Around 100 bird species are recorded each year and the list of plants on the reserve is also over 100.
The project’s Facebook page has a following of more than 23,000 people and 8,000 on Twitter.
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