About the Dyfi Wildlife Centre

The Dyfi Wildlife Centre is still in the planning stage. Here is how we hope it will evolve. 

The Building

 

Ground Floor: Reception area, interpretation area (screens and panels etc), four toilets (two disabled), two staircases, a wheelchair lift, a kitchen and cafe area for around 40 people, a shop.

First Floor: A 100-seater venue and exhibition centre called "The Gallery" comprising 50% of the upper level, volunteer and staff office and a large classroom. We'll build a balcony overlooking the reserve and osprey nest if we have enough budget.

There will be a decking area on both the car park side and reserve side and both floors will have volunteers to help you during your visit. The car park capacity will double to around 50 vehicles without taking out any new habitat.

A floor plan mock-up

 
Key Elements

 

Community

From volunteering, people engagement, decision making, design, construction and day-to-day operation, this will be a people and community-led project. The Dyfi Wildlife Centre will be situated right in the heart of the UNESCO designated Dyfi Biosphere - we'll be working right alongside everybody involved with the Biosphere.

Environment

The Dyfi Wildlife Centre will be a timber-frame building using locally grown Douglas Fir, Larch and Cedar from the Dyfi Valley or very close by. Building with timber is the most environmentally friendly construction method there is.

We will employ local architects, engineers and contractors; the vast majority of everything we need to build a stunning new centre will be sourced locally.

Participation

We will be completely inclusive to all, this centre will be for everybody to use and enjoy. Special events will be held in the Gallery and Classroom on the first level, everything from classical and folk concerts, wildlife, history and special interest talks, workshops, training events, exhibition area for local artists, osprey events and talks, astronomy. You name it, you can even get married at the centre (yes, people ask all the time to marry in the 360 Observatory!).

Environmental Sustainability

The Dyfi Wildlife Centre will be a 'minimum-plastics build', incorporating many fixtures, finishes and fittings made from reclaimed, up-cycled and recycled materials. Floor, wall and roof insulation will be organic cellulose (recycled newspapers) or sheep's wool rather than polymer-based insulation. We'll make walls out of reclaimed pallets and floors from reclaimed timber and old coins.

Yesterday's fish & chip paper, today's insulation

A 50-kilowatt solar panel system on an especially designed south-facing roof will generate approximately 9x more electricity than the building consumes annually, making the Dyfi Wildlife Centre one of, if not the, first carbon-positive buildings of its type in the UK. Electricity not used in the centre will either be harvested to be used again when the sun isn't shining or fed back to the grid; we estimate enough electricity to power five-to-seven average homes for a year will be 'surplus to requirements' and fed back directly to the national grid.

A carbon and energy positive performance centre

An asymmetrical roof, longest-side facing directly south for maximum solar gain. Electric vehicle and bike charging points will be installed in the car park.

The foundations will be steel piling rather than concrete-based, the centre being approximately 1 metre off ground level to facilitate wildlife corridors underneath. The area taken up by the new building will not be much bigger than the areas vacated by the existing toilets, cafe, disused boardwalk, ramp and two porta-cabins.

Accessibility and Opening Times

DOP is currently open for exactly five months of the year. The new Dyfi Wildlife Centre will open an additional 60% longer, eight months vs five months. For the remaining four months, November - February, we will hold special events throughout the winter. Cors Dyfi reserve will be open 365 days of the year, as it is now.

The centre will be fully disabled and wheelchair accessible with an electric lift installed (like the one in the 360 Observatory); a volunteer will help you get from one floor to the next. There will be wheelchair hire, free of charge.

The wheelchair lift in the 360 Observatory - there will be another on in the Dyfi Wildlife Centre

All information panels and screens will be bilingual.

Learning

Osprey and wildlife live screens - By 2020 the five TV screens in the current portacabin will be eight years old, two have already broken down and have had to be fixed. These will be replaced by low-energy, leading-edge tech OLED screens - in Ultra High Definition 4K resolutions. We'll design the ambient light around them to be subtle so that when you look at the ospreys, it will be the next best thing from actually being in the nest with them. The nest audio will also receive a boost in performance with a dedicated AV system.

Other OLED screens in the centre will broadcast slide-shows of various osprey statistics, biographies, DOP histories as well as showcasing some of the other amazing wildlife we see on Cors Dyfi. It will be like Springwatch, only you'll be there.

Beavers

We have been working with the Welsh Beaver Project for the last few years with a view of bringing this amazing mammal back to Cors Dyfi after many centuries of extinction from Wales. The Dyfi Wildlife Project will fund this work and enable it to go ahead.

The ancient word for beaver in Welsh is 'llostlydan", meaning 'broad-tail'

Classroom

A place to bring people and children together for workshops, lessons, talks, seminars etc. A great place too to engage with audiences that we rarely see currently - people with illness, problems, learning difficulties, loneliness, long-term unemployed, people that are recovering in any way from a bad episode in their lives. Everyone has an equal right to come to the new building and DOP and experience what it has to offer.

Education events at DOP; they won't have to be weather dependent from now on

Galeri

An amazing space to bring up to 100 people together. We will run rotating exhibitions and activities based on topics which are relevant to the Dyfi Valley, such as...

Local history - The DNA strand that runs through everything we do will be the Dyfi River. How the river has played a huge part in forming the landscape and people we see on the Dyfi today. There was a Roman fort beside Cors Dyfi 2,000 years ago; before that there was an ancient forest here with bears and red deer roaming around with ospreys and white-tailed eagles soaring above. Owain Glyndŵr penned his famous letter to the French king just a mile away (he never got a reply!) 600 years ago and soon after trade and industry started in earnest on the river, transporting all sorts of goods - locally mined copper, lead, tin, plus oak and other woods.. around the UK and then the world.

The Mary Evans - the largest ship ever built on the Dyfi right where Cors Dyfi is today. This 1879 painting will be on display in the new Galeri

Then came the trains and the Glandyfi bridge we sometimes see on the Live Streaming. How our ancestors lived has had a direct effect on how and where we, and all the wildlife around us, live today - we will bring their stories back to life in the Gallery, we'll even use some of the raw materials they mined and produced in the fabric of the building itself.