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Observatory opens at Dyfi Valley nature reserve

A wildlife observatory has officially opened today at the Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve in Powys.

It will offer visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the Dyfi Valley.

The observatory, which is part of the Dyfi Osprey Project, already attracts 40,000 visitors a year and there are hopes the new facility will boost numbers further.

Pictures: New Dyfi Valley wildlife observatory opens

The new observatory cost £1.4m - funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Communities and Nature and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust.
Visitors to the observatory on the Cors Dyfi reserve can get a 360-degree panoramic view of the Dyfi Valley in Mid Wales.
The reserve is home to the Dyfi Osprey Project, which attracts 40,000 visitors per year.

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New wildlife observatory a 'world class facility'

A brand new observatory opening today on Cors Dyfi, home of the Dyfi Osprey Project, has been called a 'world class facility.'

Visitors will get a 360 degree panoramic view of the Dyfi Valley, allowing them to experience the ecosystem from a totally new perspective.

We now have a world class facility that will enable us to connect people with wildlife like never before in Wales. It takes forward our vision of enhancing people's relationship with nature and learning about the natural world around us.

The 360 Observatory takes wildlife watching and learning to a higher level, quite literally.

– Emyr Evans, 360 Project Manager

360 degree observatory opens on Cors Dyfi reserve

The new 360 degree observatory will provide fantastic views of the ospreys over the Dyfi Valley. Credit: Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust

A brand new 360 observatory is opening later today on the Cors Dyfi reserve, home of the Dyfi Osprey Project.

It will provide a full 360 degree panoramic view of the Dyfi Valley with the Pumlumon Mountains and Snowdonia National Park.

The £1.4 million project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Communities and Nature, and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust.

It has also been supported by thousands of volunteer hours and has created four jobs for the Dyfi Valley.

The Dyfi Osprey Project, only open in the summer months, brings in 40,000 visitors a year, and up to £350,000 to the local economy.

The new Observatory will be open for 12 months a year and it is hoped will bring added visitors and value to the area.

Warning over escaped golden eagle in West Wales

Police in Mid and West Wales have warned the public not to approach a massive golden eagle that has been spotted in the hills of Carmarthenshire.

It's thought the bird - which can have a wingspan of six feet - has escaped from captivity.

Alexandra Lodge reports from Llanllwni mountain

How rare is the golden eagle in the UK?

The golden eagle has no natural predators, with its main threat coming from humans who poison or shoot it.

  • The golden eagle last bred in Wales during the 18th century, after which hunting made it extinct.
  • Most of the UK's breeding pairs are in Scotland (more than 400 in 2003), although some have been reintroduced to Ireland in recent years.
The golden eagle became extinct over much of central Europe during the 19th century Credit: Press Association
  • The birds can have a wingspan of more than 2 metres.
  • The golden eagle has a varied diet and will prey on a variety of creatures depending on their habitat. In Scotland, they target hares and grouse, and seabirds in coastal areas.

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RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch launches in Wales

Children across Wales have been learning how to tell their sparrows from their starlings today as part of the RSPB's biggest wildlife survey.

It marks the start of the charity's Big Schools' Birdwatch, which records the types of birds found in and around school grounds.

Sarah Powell went along to a school in the Vale of Glamorgan to see if she could spot any!

Welsh schoolchildren begin Big Schools' Birdwatch

Children at Llangan Primary School in the Vale of Glamorgan learn how to spot birds Credit: Sarah Powell/ITV News

"Seeing it first hand is the single best way to enthuse young people about nature, and by watching birds from their classroom window, they can learn so much" says Tim Wort from RSPB Cymru.

"It's fun, easy and simple to set up, it works for all ages, and even if it's a dull, rainy January day you can still gaze out of the classroom and see a flash of colour."

Children are encouraged to note down birds they see at any one time Credit: Sarah Powell/ITV News
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