The South West Outdoor Festival presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to camp on the edge of the UK’s Grand Canyon

Cheddar Gorge, North looking South ©National Trust/Patrick Kinsella

A jagged jewel in the South West’s crown, Cheddar Gorge boasts the biggest inland cliffs in Britain – stunning features that frame the country’s largest gorge – and in September this year, wild sleepers will have a unique opportunity to camp on the canyon rim, above the world-famous crags and caves, amid the magical Mendip Hills, while enjoying all the activity taking place around England’s newest outdoor festival.   

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Clouds Hill: Desert to Dorset

A visitor relaxing in the garden at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/Tony Gill

To mark 100 years since T E Lawrence’s part in the Great Arab Revolt, the National Trust team at Clouds Hill in Dorset will be hosting an array of events from 6-21 May which explore the life of this secretive and fascinating man.

Bronze bust of T E Lawrence by Eric Kennington in the Book Room at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/John Hammond

Bronze bust of T E Lawrence by Eric Kennington in the Book Room at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/John Hammond

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‘The South West has so much to offer for the outdoor fanatic of today’

Monty Halls

Monty Halls

The South West is a mecca for outdoor sport and adventure.  For the first time the South West Outdoor Festival brings them together in one unique place – at Heddon Valley – Exmoor’s secret valley .

The festival is being supported by numerous legends of the outdoor world who either hail from the region originally, or have gravitated here because of the wealth of exciting adventure opportunities that exist in the area.

Among them is Dartmouth-based TV presenter Monty Halls, who will be attending the festival as a speaker, film maker and self-confessed outdoor addict.

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Tickets on sale for the first South West Outdoor Festival (23-25 September)

A child toasting marshmallows over an open camp fire at Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire.The South West is a mecca for outdoor activities and adventure pursuits, and this year the inaugural South West Outdoor Festival is inviting everyone to come and explore the incredible range of opportunities that are taking place around one unique place: Heddon Valley in Exmoor National Park.

Tickets are now on sale for the festival, run in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor, the National Trust’s official outdoor retailer, which takes place over the weekend of 23–25 September. The event is suitable for everyone from young families to adventurous individuals, with something for all ages and levels of skill, experience and fitness. All that’s needed is a willingness to have a go, try something new or take on a challenge. Alternatively, you can simply soak up the ambience, and enjoy the local food and entertainment.

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Pedal power takes Lanhydrock up a gear

-Full of good intentions for a healthier and happier year ahead? Lanhydrock’s new cycle hub just made those resolutions a whole lot easier. Officially opening on Monday 3rd March, February 2014, these 10 kilometres of purpose-built, off- road cycle trails are the perfect escape for all the family, and even novice cyclists.

Dust down that neglected bike or simply hire one on site, and reconnect with the great outdoors all year round and whatever the weather. Weaving gently through majestic woodland on the Lanhydrock estate, the adventurous cycle trails fit perfectly into the landscape and are free for all to use.

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National Trust submits planning application for development of Cycle Hub at Lanhydrock.

The National Trust has submitted a planning application to Cornwall Council to redevelop the Lanhydrock car park, introducing a café and cycle hire outlet along with approximately 10km of cycle trails in neighbouring woodlands. The proposal will include important improvements to the site’s parking and traffic management and a plan to restore the original 18th century carriage drive toLanhydrock house.

It has long been the ambition of the Trust to improve parking facilities and provide a café facility outside ofLanhydrock’s pay-zone.  If planning consent is approved visitors toLanhydrockwill have essential additional parking (including a new coach park), a café outside of the pay-zone and a cycle hire facility. The play area and plant sales area will be re-located near to these new facilities.   

The introduction of the cycling hub atLanhydrockwill provide additional facilities for visitors, give families a more varied day out, and provide a facility that local groups and schools can benefit from throughout the year. The cycle trails are aimed at families and people who are novices to woodland cycling, and will help to encourage more people to enjoy the wider countryside atLanhydrock. The cycle trails will be sympathetic to natural and archaeological features and have been designed to minimise impact on other woodland users. 

The National Trust has regularly talked to local tenants, the wider community and interested parties during development of the proposals and has held a number of public consultation and information events.  As a result of this consultation aspects of the plans have been amended or refined. Rebecca Brookes-Sullivan, General Manager at Lanhydrockexplains “A key element that developed from the consultation is the proposal to re-instate the original 18th century Georgian carriage drive as the primary access toLanhydrock. This will enhance the sense of arrival for visitors and improve the flow of cars into and leaving the site. We know that during peak periods the current car park does not always provide enough space and can cause congestion to the surrounding local road network. The proposals will help to ease these congestion problems, which we are sure will be welcome news to local people.”

Rebecca Brookes-Sullivan continues “We are confident that our proposals will improve the visitor experience to one of the National Trust’s most popular visitor sites in the country, and provide local people with a year-round recreational facility.” She says “We will enhance and protect the spirit of the place for visitors to the house and gardens, whilst increasing the number and variety of people getting pleasure from the wider estate”.

The development at Lanhydrock is part of the Trust’s ‘Getting Outdoors and Closer to Nature’ programme – enabling the Trust to improve and diversify people’s access and enjoyment of its land through more opportunities for walking, cycling, kayaking, camping and other recreational activities. 

Mark Harold, the Trust’s South West Regional Director said “The Trust is committed to improving our range of facilities and improving access atLanhydrock, one of our flagship properties in the South West. This project is an absolute priority for the region; we believe it will offer significant local public benefit and the introduction of off road cycle trails will play a key part in our aim to get visitors outdoors and closer to nature.”

The National Trust will be holding a public open event that anyone is welcome to attend to better understand the proposals. This event will take place on Thursday 6th September, 3pm – 6pm, in the Lanhydrock house learning room (next door to the shop).  All documents will be available for viewing at the event and members of the project team will be available to answer questions.  The planning documents are expected to be validated and made available for viewing on the Cornwall Council Online Planning Register 10-12 days from submission, after which there is a 21 day period for comments to be submitted to Cornwall Council.  The National Trust are holding their public event approximately one week after the planning application has been validated, ensuring that people have time to view the plans and ask the project team questions before submitting their comments to Cornwall Council.  From validation it will take approximately 13 weeks for a planning decision to be made.

The Lanhydrock Cycle Hub now has its own Facebook site where you’ll find all the latest information on the proposed project. The Planning Application Reference number will be posted here as soon as available, along with details of how to submit your comments to Cornwall Council and the deadline. 

For more information on this project, why not check out our Lanhydrock Cycle hub Questions and Answers document.

Lanhydrock Cycle Hub & visitor facilities development

 

We will shortly be submitting a planning application to Cornwall Council to redevelop the Lanhydrock car park, introducing a café and cycle hire outlet along with approximately 10km of cycle trails in neighbouring woodlands. Our proposals will include important improvements to the site’s parking and traffic management and a plan to restore the original 18th century carriage drive toLanhydrock house.

It has long been the ambition of the Trust to improve parking facilities and provide a café facility outside ofLanhydrock’s pay-zone.  If planning consent is approved visitors toLanhydrockwill have essential additional parking (including a new coach park), a café outside of the pay-zone and a cycle hire facility. The play area and plant sales area will be re-located near to these new facilities.

The introduction of the cycling hub at Lanhydrock will provide additional facilities for visitors, give families a more varied day out, and provide a facility that local groups and schools can benefit from throughout the year. The cycle trails are aimed at families and people who are novices to woodland cycling, and will help to encourage more people to enjoy the wider countryside atLanhydrock. The cycle trails will be sympathetic to natural and archaeological features and have been designed to minimise impact on other woodland users.

We have regularly talked to local tenants, the wider community and interested parties during development of the proposals and has held a number of public consultation and information events.  As a result of this consultation aspects of the plans have been amended or refined. Rebecca Brookes-Sullivan, General Manager at Lanhydrockexplains “A key element that developed from the consultation is the proposal to re-instate the original 18th century Georgian carriage drive as the primary access toLanhydrock. This will enhance the sense of arrival for visitors and improve the flow of cars into and leaving the site. We know that during peak periods the current car park does not always provide enough space and can cause congestion to the surrounding local road network. The proposals will help to ease these congestion problems, which we are sure will be welcome news to local people.”

Rebecca Brookes-Sullivan continues “We are confident that our proposals will improve the visitor experience to one of the National Trust’s most popular visitor sites in the country, and provide local people with a year-round recreational facility.” She says “We will enhance and protect the spirit of the place for visitors to the house and gardens, whilst increasing the number and variety of people getting pleasure from the wider estate”.

The development at Lanhydrock is part of the Trust’s ‘Getting Outdoors and Closer to Nature’ programme – enabling the Trust to improve and diversify people’s access and enjoyment of its land through more opportunities for walking, cycling, kayaking, camping and other recreational activities.

Mark Harold, the Trust’s South West Regional Director said “The Trust is committed to improving our range of facilities and improving access atLanhydrock, one of our flagship properties in the South West. This project is an absolute priority for the region; we believe it will offer significant local public benefit and the introduction of off road cycle trails will play a key part in our aim to get visitors outdoors and closer to nature.”

The National Trust will be holding a public open event that anyone is welcome to attend to better understand the proposals.  The planning documents will be available for viewing and members of the project team will be available to answer questions.  The date of this event will be announced shortly.

The Lanhydrock Cycle Hub now has its own Facebook site where you’ll find all the latest information on the proposed project and how to get involved http://www.facebook.com/lanhydrockcyclehub

New Killerton to Broadclyst Cycle Track

Killerton, near Exeter has just launched its new family cycle track to an invited audience of Devon County Council, Broadclyst Parish Council, Year 5 pupils from Broadclyst Primary School and the local community, all who got on their bikes and pedalled the new route together and celebrate by cutting a ribbon.

Following eight years work, the Killerton to Broadclyst cycle track has been developed in partnership between National Trust and the County Council. It has been part-funded with a £65,000 grant from Devon County Council’s Investing In Devon fund, which came from the sale ofExeterAirport, and it brings to fruition a long-held ambition to provide the community with a link between the National Trust property and neighbouringvillageofBroadclyst.

The 5K cycle track follows a safe and scenic route along surfaced trail and quiet country lanes passing historic National Trust landmarks such as Budlake Old Post Office and Clyston Mill. It is the next phase to Killerton’s family cycling network following the launch of theKillertonParkcycle track last year. Both 5K cycle tracks each take approximately an hour and form part of a whole network of family cycling routes planned for the 6,400 acre country estate.

Killerton’s cycle tracks have inspired hundreds of people from theExeterarea to get out on their bikes to explore Killerton. Recently 250 pupils from ten local primary schools rode around the estate and took part in proficiency workshops. As a result, Killerton’s closest primary school in Broadclyst has adopted the cycle tracks for their weekly sports class.

Ed Nicholson, National Trust Area Warden has been leading the Killerton cycle track project. He said: ‘There is more and more interest in cycling in theUKas people realise that it is good for health and good for the soul. Our work here at Killerton is part of a long-held commitment to increase family cycling on the estate.  Leisure cycling will improve people’s access to and enjoyment of the stunning countryside that the National Trust care for both at Killerton and across the South West region.’

National Trust, Devon County Councillors andBroadclystPrimary Schoolchildren cycled the Killerton to Broadclyst cycle track and Devon County Council’s Chairman  Cllr Yabsley officially cut the ribbon. 

Councillor Jeremy Yabsley, Devon County Council Chairman, said “Devon County Council is committed to supporting National Trust in its efforts to encourage walking and cycling across its properties and estates inDevon. Killerton is ideally situated to offer local residents and visitors a beautiful area which is now very accessible by walking, cycling or bus travel. I’m sure their fantastic walking and cycle routes will be popular.’

 

Phillip Smart, Killerton’s Property Manager added: “We are delighted to be able to launch another cycle path and we hope families will join us for Killerton Cycling Weekend on 24 and 25 March, where we’re offering free bike hire. Our countryside team has worked incredibly hard to upgrade both tracks and cycling at Killerton is the ideal way to discover parts of the wider estate you may not have already visited.”

National Trust proposals for Plymbridge Cycle Trail and Cafe

The National Trust has submitted plans to Plymouth City Council for a series of cycle trails at Plymbridge Woods nr Plymouth.  The plans also include a café building to provide refreshments, seating, toilets and cycle hire.

The proposals for Plymbridge Woods, which have been cared for by the National Trust since 1968, are part of the Trust’s strategy to improve access to its many outdoor locations.

Plymbridge is a popular recreational area attracting approximately 250,000 visitors per annum, many who visit on a regular basis. The proposed cycling trails are aimed at novice and intermediate riders and, by providing these trails, it is hoped that cyclists will be able to use the site in a responsible and considerate way.

The proposals are part of the 1 South West Regional Cycling Project to encourage health, well-being and economic prosperity in the South West.  The proposed development will be funded from National Trust funds and through the Sustainable Rural Tourism Fund, administered through the Rural Development Programme for England.

The National Trust has principles of conservation at its core and has worked hard to conserve the wildlife value of Plymbridge Woods for many years, and will continue to do so while also improving access and recreational opportunities for visitors.

The woodlands’ proximity to Plymouth provides a great opportunity for many people to benefit from the proposed trails.  Visitors to Plymbridge already benefit from excellent access by bike, foot and public transport and the Trust will be doing all it can to encourage future access via green-transport routes.

The Plymbridge proposal is part of a wider project, led by the Forestry Commission, which has already established cycle trails close to Bristol and Exeter, with further trails being developed close to Bodmin. These other existing regional sites have proved successful in encouraging a wide range of people to enjoy the region’s countryside,  whilst reducing user conflict and delivering economic benefits to local businesses.

Guidance from independent ecologists, archaeologists and professional trail designers formed the basis of the proposals, along with input from the  National Trust staff that care for the woodlands on a daily basis.  The Trust also held a series of public consultation events at Plymbridge and within Plymouth City Centre.

The National Trust encourages everyone to read all of the planning documents and engage positively in the planning consultation process.  If you would like to talk to us and find out more please email Dartmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk. We have also published some ‘frequently asked questions and answers’ to help explain our proposals, click here for more info