A new wildlife-friendly lookout has been installed at Essex Wildlife Trust’s Two Tree Island nature reserve in Leigh-on-Sea. The lookout is not only a place to enjoy the spectacles of nature, but also provides a habitat for some of the important species that call this reserve home, including insects, birds and even bats.
Monty’s Lookout, designed by Green Roof Shelters, and its associated interpretation was funded by a generous legacy and donations from a JustGiving appeal after the previous hide, including its informative interpretation boards were lost due to arson in 2019.
Overlooking the serene western lagoon at Two Tree Island, Monty’s Lookout is in pride of place to witness the fantastic bird life that the island supports throughout the year. Adjacent to the internationally protected Thames Estuary, Two Tree Island is situated within an urbanised landscape but is still a hub for wildlife, providing the perfect habitat for thousands of birds including wildfowl, waders and short-eared owls, rare bees, such as brown-banded and shrill carder bee, beautiful butterflies, and striking reptiles such as slow worms and adders.
The new lookout is inviting, fully accessible and is made from re-purposed shipping containers complete with a shingle habitat roof and a wall made from log and stone filled gabions that allow more light into the lookout and provide a habitat for invertebrates. Inside the lookout reclaimed hardwood shelves line the walls as well as a display of engaging interpretation panels to educate visitors about the wildlife they can expect to see and the habitat around the lookout. So, if you have some time and would like to get out as we come out of lockdown this is a great place to visit and take in what nature has to offer.
Essex Wildlife Trust’s vision and determination to protect wildlife and inspire a lifelong love of nature has never been stronger, and the need never greater. If you would like to share in their mission to support wildlife and green spaces, please get in touch and become a corporate Investor in Wildlife.