Patrick Parsons has offered its expertise pro bono on a project to build a new wildlife viewing hide and boardwalk at a North East nature reserve.
The ambitious project has been driven by The Natural History Society of Northumbria, which manages Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. The Society successfully raised the £32,000 needed over a period of 18 months thanks to individual donations and local community funding organisations.
The new viewing hide and boardwalk are being constructed by a number of volunteers – who have so far contributed 500 hours of time to the project – and the Society is organising work days when local people can join the team and help out.
Once the work is completed, the larger hide and boardwalk will enable visiting schoolchildren to look for rare wildlife such as otters and kingfishers at one of the North East’s best bird watching sites.
Patrick Parsons became involved in the project after Gateshead-based Kiosk Architecture & Design and ec-architects, which donated the design for the new features, approached the firm about contributing its engineering consultancy expertise.
A team from Patrick Parsons, which has eight UK-based offices and two international offices in Dubai and Sydney, has undertaken a number of site visits throughout the project, also advising on suitable build processes and the best ways of constructing the hide and boardwalk.
The project is progressing to schedule, with the boardwalk now nearing completion and the panels for the viewing hide being put together off-site by volunteers.
Peter Stienlet, managing director of Patrick Parsons, said: “We are delighted to be involved with this community project, which is due to make vast improvements to what is already one of the region’s best nature reserves.
“I was personally very keen to contribute to the project, having visited the nature reserve on a regular basis in my childhood, so when we were approached by Kiosk Architecture & Design I saw it as a good opportunity to give something back to the community by offering our services.”