It’s been wonderful to welcome so many people back to the reserve, and we’ve certainly seen an influx now the hides are open. However, today something didn’t feel right with the way that people were using hides and we want to make sure people do feel safe when they visit.

We found that some people weren’t following our instructions of wearing masks, there were moments when there were people standing behind others who were sitting down and sitting or standing far too close to others. There were no individuals at fault, just the collective increase in visitors causing extra pressure on the hides in particular.

We appreciate that species like bitterns demand patience to see, but they are also a species that you can see from the trails, especially at this time of year when you normally see them flying to and from places deep in the reedbeds to feed or find mates. 

We realise that people are coming back pleased that everything is easing and it has been brilliant to see more people return, but we still cannot use the hides as we did before the pandemic - we still all need to follow the guidance of wearing masks inside any building, maintaining social distancing and understanding that the capacity of the hides and buildings are limited. We want people to still use the hides, to talk to each other in hides to share knowledge and to be considerate to others.

There’s plenty of room for everyone to come and enjoy Minsmere, so tomorrow we will review some of our signage and make sure that everyone is properly briefed at the visitor centre so they know how to stay safe whilst they are here.   

If visitors do not follow the guidance we will close the hides again until such time that we feel it is safe to do so.

Thank you to visitors for feeding back their concerns