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Whitelee Wind Farm visitor centre reopens for the summer – school visits for march already fully booked
Whitelee Windfarm Visitor Centre has re-opened for a new season today (Friday 1st March), and interest to visit Britain’s largest onshore wind farm is already running high. Operator Scottish Power Renewables and Glasgow Science Centre, who manage the visitor and education facilities, say that March is already fully booked for school visits, with nearly 60 trips already confirmed for the new season.
Around 270,000 people have now been to the Visitor Centre at Whitelee, near Glasgow, during the three summer seasons in which it has been open. It is estimated that many thousands of additional visitors have directly accessed the site’s 90kms of tracks and paths, popular for a diverse range of outdoors activities, from walking and cycling to horse riding and stargazing.
Whitelee’s £2m visitor centre includes a range of interactive displays and exhibitions, including a number of new and refreshed attractions for 2013. A separate learning hub, staffed by Glasgow Science Centre experts, caters for primary and secondary school visits. Workshop sessions are tailored to specific age groups to teach pupils more about the technology and science behind renewable energy. More than 10,000 pupils have visited Whitelee so far as part of a school trip.
Simon Christian, UK Managing Director for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The level of interest in visiting Whitelee continues to beat our original expectations, and it is fantastic to see really strong enthusiasm from schools across the country. The staff at Glasgow Science Centre have devised some fantastic hands-on workshops for children to learn more about the engineering involved in renewable energy, and wider electricity generation, and the feedback we have had from schools has been very positive.
“We are ready for another busy summer period, and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors who are keen to see a wind farm first-hand, as well those cyclists and joggers and dog walkers who use the site for recreation all year round.”
March will also see a number of free workshops taking place at Whitelee, as part of National Science & Engineering Week 2013, and further activities will be planned across the summer months. The popular cafe area has had a makeover during the winter closure, and a number of new local suppliers will be providing cakes and snacks for customers.
Whitelee also has its own Countryside Ranger Service, run in conjunction with East Renfrewshire Council, which oversees an extensive range of free family-themed events throughout the year.