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1.0 Introduction

Stephen Bedford Clark approached Jonathan Smales, Chief Executive of Museum of the Earth (predecessor of the Earth Centre) in August 1993 and presented conceptual ideas towards the promotion of Freshwater Ecology and Aquaculture elements for the project.

The aim was to design, construct and operate a fish farm in a sustainable manner for research, education and enterprise purposes and demonstrate the whole to the general public.
Following the successful compilation of a £1.4 million funding package for a first stage development achieved in December 1993, masterplanning of the site began in January 1994.

The concept of a fish farm was developed along with additional elements of a hatchery building and further wetlands ponds on another part of the site.
From May 1994, saw the commencement of related earthworks and equipment procurement with two of the nursery ponds completed by August of that year.

The Yorkshire Television 'Action Time' took place on the weekend of 14/15 September after several months of planning. The programme selects monthly; regional community based projects, highlight sponsorship opportunities and call for volunteers to take part in work based activities.

Meanwhile, the Circle Tip Wetland Site generously funded by the National Rivers Authority (now UK Environment Agency) was completed in Spring 1995.

The Earth Centre Phase One opened to the general public on 8 July 1995, with reed beds, three nursery ponds, a hatchery and wetland site operating.
Following a successful funding proposal to the UK Millennium Commission the site was closed in November 1995 for re-design and tragically the hatchery was raised to the ground by fire in April 1996.
Next stage earthwork preparation started in May 1996, when the site was levelled and all traces of the fish farm was lost.

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