A new nature hide has opened at Siddick Ponds in memory of a former Workington stalwart.

Year six pupils from Workington’s Ashfield Junior School helped lead the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

Named by one of the children as the HUB - or Hide for Unbelievable Birds - it provides a place to learn about and view the nature reserve’s wildlife.

The hide has also been dedicated to former mayor and councillor for Workington Town Council, Allerdale councillor and chairman of the Friends of Siddick Ponds, Bill Bacon who died in 2016. A memorial plaque was unveiled by Mr Bacon’s wife, Valerie.

Mrs Bacon said: “It is a real honour to be able to unveil this plaque. Bill was so dedicated to this place and devoted so much time towards it.”

The children have been working with officers from Workington Nature Partnership to devise interactive activities for visitors to the hide, and it was the first time that they got to see their work on display.

Raegan Blacker, Workington Nature Partnership Officer, said: “It’s so important to engage children in nature projects like this. When we first started this initiative, no one from the class had been to Siddick Ponds. However, just a few days after we started, many had been back with their parents. If young people get to find out about nature, they will help protect it.”

The hide also provides information on the wildlife which can be seen at Siddick Ponds particularly its breeding and migrating wetland birds, as well as stoats, foxes, otters, bats and the occasional osprey from nearby Bassenthwaite. Armed with binoculars the children were able to see wildlife.

The initiative has been funded in part by Allerdale Borough Council and Workington Town Council with money also from Iggesund, the Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Fund via the Cumbria Community Foundation, Wythegill Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, and Tesco Bags of Help.

The hide is open to the public and anyone wishing to make use of it can park in the visitor parking at the Iggesund plant, and ask for a key from the nearby gatehouse.

n For more information visit siddickponds.co.uk