Our popular visitor centre, in Hornchurch Country Park, which was opened in 2015 by BBC Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams and funded by the National Lottery, is a favourite spot for families and wildlife watchers alike. It has now not only been awarded the prestigious BREEAM certification but awarded with an accreditation of ‘Excellent’.
BREEAM requires the building to be built to a world-wide recognised sustainable accreditation. The Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre did this by scoring highly in the three main sustainability categories: Energy, Materials and Health and Wellbeing. Factors contributing to this included:
• Using re-cycled materials in construction
• Materials used were obtained only from responsible sources
• Only materials given an A+ or A Green Guide Rating were selected
• Energy efficient equipment was used
• Passive build design meant minimising the need for heating, lighting and mechanical ventilation.
The visitor centre and qualification were made possible by National Lottery players through an £816,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Offcuts of wood left over from the build were re-used to make Barn Owl boxes. These boxes have been put up round Hornchurch Country Park by the Friends of Ingrebourne Valley and Hornchurch Country Park group, where they will hopefully soon be providing nesting places for Essex’s favourite bird.
Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre is a partnership project between Essex Wildlife Trust and Havering Council, which owns and manages Hornchurch Country Park.
Essex Wildlife Trust would like to thank Tim Ronalds Architects, Price & Myers, Max Fordham, Coleman & James, Trogal Griffin Associates and the London Borough of Havering for their work and support on the project. Also to be thanked are the project’s funders: the National Lottery, Veolia North Thames Trust, City Bridge Trust, UKPN and Biffa Award.