March 18th, a busy day filled with team members making the final preparations before the closure of the visitor centre. The team were not expecting to be away for too long from their beloved home away from home. A few days later lockdown was announced.

Four months on, a small team of volunteers and staff dusted off their uniforms and name badges eagerly awaiting to return to Newport Wetlands. It is safe to say things were a little bit different when we returned on the 13th July. Stoats were also taken by surprise when they saw us setting up our new office. New office being a marquee, camping chairs, flasks of coffee and a big tub of hand sanitiser.

The last six weeks have been a mixture of the familiar and the ‘new normal’. We have experienced every season, from heatwaves to storms – we have had it all! Being outside has enabled us to feel even more connected to the stunning nature reserve we have here in Newport. We have had wonderful wildlife experiences from shrill carder bees passing us by to marsh harriers flying over our heads. It has been lovely to reconnect with our regular visitors and welcome new faces to the reserve.

Our team are working very hard behind the scenes to plan how we can open the visitor centre safely. We deeply appreciate your understanding and continued support through this time. For now, keep smiling and stay safe. We hope you enjoy these post-lockdown photos!

Path leading towards the play area. We’re being taken over by brambles. Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

Over the bridge... or through? Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

Play area, or now known as “sea of grass”. Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

Picnic table and bronze relief area. Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

Path leading towards visitor centre. Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

Picnic area. Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

View from the cafe. Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

“Has anybody seen the picnic tables?!”. Photo credit: Hannah Beynon

Rhiannon Munro

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