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King’s (Queen’s) Dyke Nature Reserve (renamed for one day only) opened our gates for a day of ‘Royal Highness’ on Wednesday 1st June.

A total attendance of 296 visitors (85 separate parties) joined in a day filled with fun for the whole family. (A further 27 people attended 2 brickworks tours and a nature reserve walk).

The day commenced with an early 7am-10am Walk With the Warden. An informative walk around the reserve/extension, which included lots of information about the day to day management of the reserve and the species/habitats within it.

Activities in the marquee included owl pellet dissection, mask making, snake handling, shark tooth digging, quizzes and displays.

Flutterby Face Painting transformed our younger visitors into fantastic wild and mythical creatures. Whilst Adam’s Ices provided refreshing treats on what was a beautiful sunny day.

Fossil hunting and pond dipping proved popular with many families. Shrieks of excitement could be heard whilst children showed their fossil finds to family and friends. Some rare finds included 2 crocodile vertebrate and a sharks fin spine.

The bird hide was the perfect place for a moment of calm or a quiet spot of lunch.

Over 100 invertebrate species were discovered during the bug hunting event with Dr Pete Kirby and Sarah Lambert (2 of which are new to the reserve and 3 are new to the Whittlesey estate) and 3 special brickworks tours received rave reviews from attendees, who were given the tours by archivist Andrew Mortlock.

It was lovely to see so many new faces at Kings Dyke on a day of Royal Jubilee. 70% of visitors were new to the reserve/non-members. We welcome those who have subsequently joined as members since their visit.

It was fantastic to kick off the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, and bring people together again. To not only celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 year reign, but the wonderful wildlife we have on our doorstep. It was amazing to see so many adults and children so enthused by nature. Hopefully igniting a passion for our planet and conserving the species within it for future generations to come.

Thank you to our amazing team and volunteers, for whom we are most grateful. Thank you also to those who came along and joined in the fun. An amazing day, fit for The Queen!