ALAN Redley, chairman of the Friends of Anderton and Marbury (FoAM), welcomed more than 40 people to Neumann’s Flash to celebrate the opening of a new bird hide.

Pod’s Hide was made possible thanks to a generous donation to FoAM from Debbie Antrobus in memory of her late husband Pete, from Comberbach, whose nickname was Pod.

“Construction of a hide on this patch of land had long been a dream of local birdwatchers, and it was a favourite place for Pete,” said Alan.

He also thanked FoAM members, volunteers and colleagues of Pete, who had put in a great deal of work to bring the hide, path, fencing and gate to fruition.

Special thanks went to Tata Chemicals Europe, represented by Ian Molyneux, for donating stone for the path foundation.

Finally, Alan thanked Ranger Dave James, who enthusiastically supported the hide being built and had worked with FoAM and the volunteers throughout the project.

A ribbon was cut by Debbie, who thanked everyone involved and declared the hide open.

She said it would be available to be enjoyed by visitors for years to come, and following the opening, Debbie and members of her family joined everyone for a buffet at the Rangers' cabin.

“Just before Christmas we heard the sad news of the death of local birdwatcher Pete Antrobus,” added Alan.

“More than £1,200 had been collected in donations, which Debbie gave to FoAM to be put towards a project in memory of Pete.

“As a result an ambitious community project to build Pod’s Hide was born.”

Pete was a member of FoAM, and a number of his colleagues joined members of FoAM to help build the hide.

“Preparation for the construction began in January, with clearance work to create a new path,” said Alan.

“In places the ground was rock hard, and in other places stone was required to build the path up above the water level.

“A big thank you to Tata Chemicals Europe, which donated 25 tonnes of stone.

“On two days Howard Fearn and several other of Pete’s colleagues from Avian Ecology joined in to help.”