A NEW visitor centre is now open and ready for business at Crickley Hill Nature Reserve, just in time for the school half-term holidays.

The Visitor Hub, adjacent to Crickley Hill Café, is free to enter and provides a cosy and contemporary space for visitors to discover Crickley Hill’s wildlife and trace the local landmark’s impressive history which stretches back to Neolithic times.

The new visitor building, constructed from recycled shipping containers and wooden clad to blend into the landscape, was supported by a grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development with additional funding from Grundon Waste Management through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The hub is open daily to coincide with café opening times which can be found on the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust website.

The Visitor Hub was officially opened to visitors by representatives from Grundon Waste Management, alongside Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT), National Trust and the Crickley Hill Archaeological Trust who helped with the archaeological fact-checking.

Crickley Hill is co-owned by GWT and the National Trust.

Inside the new Visitor Hub, colourful panels uncover the archaeology of the hill and illustrate the massive variety of wildlife found in all seasons.

There are also 3D models depicting reconstructions of iron age life at Crickley Hill.

“Many people visit Crickley Hill for its incredible views or a bracing walk, but it is also a site rich in wildlife with a fascinating history,” said Roger Mortlock, CEO of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. “The new Visitor Hub gives a brief introduction to the history of people and wildlife at Crickley, and is a great starting point for a visit to the hill.”