A NEW wildlife visitor centre has opened in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has renovated a former derelict farm into Greystones, a National Lottery funded wildlife visitor centre.

Now open to the public seven days a week throughout the year, the nature reserve has easy-to-follow trails, leading visitors through meadows, woodland, a river and wild play features.

Presenter of Countryfile, Ellie Harrison, was one of the first people to try out the attractions at the Greystones.

At the official opening on July 5, Ellie led a hands-on nature workshop for children from the nearby community, visited the site’s replica Iron Age roundhouse, tested her wildlife knowledge on a digital quiz in the Discovery Barn and explored the site’s signposted trails.

“The next chapter of the Greystones story has now begun," said Ellie, also president of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

"In it, everybody has the opportunity to immerse in nature and walk in the footsteps of our ancestors on this incredible ancient site.

Greystones in all covers 66 hectares, which is the equivalent of around 80 football pitches.

The centre has opened thanks to 750,000 National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund , Grundon Waste Management, other supporters and dozens of volunteers.

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “A place of discovery for people of all ages and a starting point for the exploration of the wonderful wildlife, landscape and stories of the Cotswolds, National Lottery funded Greystones has opened its doors on an exciting future for the nature reserve and its visitors.

"Congratulations to all the volunteers and project team who have made this project such a success.”

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust specialists and volunteers work year-round to improve the site for the many species found here, which include barn owls, otters and water voles.

Entry to Greystones is free, but there may be a charge for some events.

To find out what’s on, visit gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk