Global recognition for Lancashire nature reserve

The award-winning Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve, Brockholes, is being used as an example of best practise for organisations from every corner of the globe.

Brockholes by Alan Wright 1The marketing of Brockholes and the sustainable design of the floating Visitor Village are being used as case studies in a new handbook being published in today , aimed at showcasing best practice for developing a wetland education centre.

Brockholes general manager Kath Knight was invited to attend the “Workshop on Best Practices for the Design and Operation of Wetland Education Centres” to talk about the work of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust in developing Brockholes, which is just off the M6 at Preston. Kath gave presentations on the development of the wetland reserve, the Visitor Village and the marketing activity.

Kath said: “We were honoured to be invited to contribute at the workshop and hope that it will enable us to establish links with wetland centres around the world. Fourteen countries are represented at the workshop including Australia, China, Canada, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

“The fact that Brockholes is being used in several areas as a case study for best practice is a testament to the work of The Lancashire Wildlife Trust, and its members who supported the initial purchase of the reserve in 2006.”

The workshop was a partnership event organised by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the Ministry of Environment Korea and the Environmental Ecosystem Research Foundation.

Lindsey Poole, marketing manager, said: “To have the marketing recognised on a global scale is breathtaking. Our plans were always big when it came to Brockholes, we wanted to portray the unique features of the site and break down the barriers of nature reserve perceptions, and we wanted to let people know we were a new kind of nature reserve.

“We had to be creative, though, with small budgets, a small team and a launch campaign which began before the reserve and Visitor Village were completed. The multi-channel approach we used enabled us to build the excitement and anticipation around the launch, with a powerful PR campaign ensuring we made the most of opportunities to raise our profile to a national level.

“Our marketing is constantly developing with the needs of the business. As our visitor numbers grow, so do our databases and our focus now is communicating effectively with both our existing and new audiences and monitoring our visitor feedback and trends to inform our future plans.” Brockholes Nature Reserve is home to the UK’s first floating Visitor Village. The reserve is 250 acres of important wetland and woodland habitats, transformed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust from a former quarry site.