Improving miracle of Minsmere comes naturally
The RSPB's iconic reserve at Minsmere on the Suffolk coast is poised to undergo one of the biggest developments in its 64-year history to make its natural wonders even more inspiring, as John Grant discovers.
The miracle in our midst that is Minsmere – pulsating with the forces of nature and bombarding its visitors with uplifting and life-affirming encounters at every turn – has long been revered as a cathedral of conservation.
Its past and present combine to pretty much tell the inspiring story of the British nature conservation movement potted into one pretty much perfect RSPB reserve.
So how can you improve on perfection? Well, you can't. At least, you can't improve nature as such.
You can protect it and give it a helping hand, as the RPSB has been doing for more than 60 years at Minsmere – to the extent that the site now hosts the greatest level of biodiversity of any British RSPB nature reserve – but you can't improve it, or make it any better.
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You can, however, improve people's experience of it – to help them find deep connections with nature and revel in it, form a lifelong wonderment for it.
That is the task the RSPB is now undertaking at Minsmere with the RSPB-led Discover Nature project.
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Huge financial grants have been won and thousands of man-hours have been invested in research and planning.
And in just a few weeks' time the practical work begins.
Another era in the reserve's illustrious history is about to unfold.
Adam Rowlands, Minsmere's senior site manager and the Discover Nature project leader, said: 'Maintaining the integrity of the reserve and its wildlife is sacrosanct – that is a fundamental core objective – but we want as many people as possible to be inspired by Minsmere.'
For the full story see the EDP Sunday supplement is this Saturday's EDP.