What We Do
The Trust’s work is in four main areas. These are:
- Environmental conservation
- Health, well-being and inclusion
All areas of our work are interlinked and promoted through specific activities and events involving children and adults from across the area. We aim to inspire people to perhaps try something new or to adopt a greener, more wildlife-friendly lifestyle.
The Trust manages Stanwick Lakes in partnership with North Northamptonshire Council. It is a 750 acre former sand and gravel quarry which has been transformed into a nature reserve and countryside attraction. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a wetland of international importance.
This means that it is protected for conservation and must be managed in a way that maintains its wildlife interest. A team of rangers, with support from volunteers, work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure this.
Stanwick Lakes has a diverse range of habitats and an abundance of wildlife. It is particularly well known for wintering waterfowl like tufted duck and great crested grebe but many kinds of butterflies, moths, bees and mammals make Stanwick Lakes their home.
Stanwick Lakes is also a recreational site that offers a whole host of activities to keep families happy for a full day including an adventure playground, assault course, adventure trail, cycle hire, walking routes and cafe.
Through project work the Trust is able to explore the area’s history and bring it to life in events and demonstrations. Rockingham Forest Trust has managed a number of Heritage Lottery funded projects over the years, all of which have developed the understanding and knowledge of Northamptonshire’s history. All of our heritage projects have also involved schools and young people in discovering more about the history of where they live – either by providing activities for schools to look at the heritage of their local area or by organising events at Stanwick Lakes.
The Trust takes a broad approach to education, this enables us to inform and involve people of all ages, in a variety of ways, to help explain and safeguard the special identity of this part of Northamptonshire. Our educational work is linked with our heritage and environmental conservation projects. We deliver education to children and adults alike through interactive school visits, community events and publications.
Educational visits for schools and youth groups are provided by the rangers at Stanwick Lakes throughout the year. A variety of subjects are offered suited to a range of age groups that are linked to the national curriculum. Stanwick Lakes’ rangers also carry out educational visits for other audiences including scout and brownie groups and adults attending events to learn about the site and its wildlife.
Education is an integral part of our Heritage work. We encourage schools and young people to become involved in discovering more about the history of where they live – either by providing activities for schools to look at the heritage of their local area or by organising events at Stanwick Lakes.
Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion
The Trust works to promote health and improve people’s well-being by using the natural surroundings of Stanwick Lakes. We are able to deliver this work free of charge as all profits made in the running of Stanwick Lakes are re-invested back into the charity.
Health walks are led by the Trust on a twice weekly basis to encourage people to get out, breathe some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Stanwick Lakes. The positive health benefits that can be gained from walking include having more energy, keeping your heart strong and helping to manage your weight. Meet outside the Stanwick Lakes Visitor Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am for a walk of approximately 45 minutes. The paths are surfaced and mostly flat meaning they are suitable for all. Call 01933 625522 for more information.
As part of our inclusion work, the Trust runs sessions with local groups including adults with learning disabilities. These sessions are able to be offered free of charge thanks to the way Stanwick Lakes is run. As a social enterprise, we reinvest any profit made back into our charitable work.