Initially there were viewing platforms for birdwatchers but not hides. Regular birders at the site frequently asked for improved viewing facilities but, were told it was not possible to build hides at that time. However, in 20?? Three hides were constructed two on Monk's and one on Bec's lagoons. The regular birdwatcher felt that it would have been appropriate if they had been involved with the choice of siting for the hides. We were also unhappy with the fact that viewing birds on Prior's lagoon was very restricted.
Mike Pointon, a regular local birder, decided to request a meeting with Tom Dalrymple (Reserve manager) to look into the possibility of having a hide/viewing platform on Prior's lagoon. At the meeting which, he attended with Jon Holmes, Tom outlined in some detail the trials, tribulations and pleasures of managing the reserve. They were delighted when he said that he agreed to make enquiries in respect to having a hide. Following this meeting Mike had further meetings with Tom where it was determined that a viewing platform could be erected more quickly as it would involve less red tape.
The next hurdle to cross was how to get people involved with the project. Jackie, Mike's wife, suggested that Mike set up Friends of Goldcliff lagoons which was put to Tom, who agreed it was the best way forward. Mike put a notice in the hides requesting birders to join and help build the viewing platform.
The response was very good and in August 2014 The Friends of Goldcliff Lagoons commenced to build the viewing platform on Prior's Lagoon which was officially opened on 11th September of that year. The members at the time were Brian Thomas, John Marsh, Alan Rosney, Mark Hebden, Ron Eccles, Mike and Jackie Pointon and the late Maurice Chown. Other have joined since.
FOGL have been involved with other activates clean ups, survey work, weBS and other counts, and leading birdwatching Groups. We also keep an eye out for anyone disturbing the birds and report any incidents to the reserve staff.