RSPB Minsmere reserve reopens visitor centre
The RSPB has opened its revamped visitor centre at Minsmere as part of a £2m project.
The centre at the Suffolk coastal reserve, which has been closed for six months, has a larger cafe and reception area and a new toilet block.
The building is heated by solar power and rainwater will be collected and used to flush the toilets.
Adam Rowlands, RSPB site manager, said: "We can't wait to see people coming along to enjoy the new facilities."
The visitor centre is the first facility to be opened as part of the Discover Nature Project, which has received money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a European Union programme.
Matt Bynoe, contracts manager with the builders ISG, said: "The new facilities boast some impressive environmental credentials with the centre being heated using solar-thermal energy and it incorporates a rainwater harvesting system to flush toilets.
"It will use sun pipes to maximise the amount of natural light entering the structure, reducing artificial lighting costs."
The RSPB said its Discovery Centre and Wild Zone activity area, which are also part of the £2m project, are due to open in April.