/ Bradgate Park and the Charity Commission
I will start by declaring an interest, I have been friends for many years with Peters's wife, and although I don't know him as well I'd consider him a friend too.
I have spent many happy times at Bradgate park long before Peter took over. He took over at a time when the council had slashed funding and he had to bring in money which he did.
The tea rooms have been renovated and a new visitor centre opened.
Now the Council seem to think that they can just take over. This seems of dubious legality.
More information here
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07hstm9 from around 11 minutes.
This is how the staff and volunteers found about about the plans. In the paper.
Personally I don't trust the council to run the park for anyone's benefit but their own.
Its been a long time since i lived in leicester but i still have close links to the city and am a fairly frequent visitor to Bradgate. The Trust aren't perfect but i think that a useful maxim for an ethical happy existance in the city is to ask yourself " what would the Council do"?
And then take a different path. This sounds like a shabby empire grab of a well loved local resource. Of course Newton Linford is unhappy. But visitor numbers are nothing new and they all have drives for their porche cayenne in any event.
Yes the deer numbers are way too high, but i doubt the council will do anything because they are such a well known feature. The Trust model has always been an unhappy compromise between direct council control and full autonomy, but i wouldn't trust the council to change a lightbulb
I worry that they will ruin it if they get total control.
They were asked if they could help with security and they had no money for that.
I think they see this as a money making opportunity.
If they get their way I expect massive car park charging under the pretence of improvements and all manner of nonsense.
I believe there is some culling of deer already but I'm not sure.
As a previous regular and local, but rather fed up with the car parking fees which do not allow a quick early morning visit for hill training, I am interested to see how this develops. We would specifically choose NOT to park in the village as I grew up in a very touristy area and know the pressures that creates.
A few miles to the north the council have been very active in organising good parking and facilities at Beacon Hill - the parking fees are much more reasonable and you can get an annual ticket for far less than at Bradgate. I am not sure whether the new facilities there are designed to be self-sustaining or to make some profit for other things.
Of course you can alway park at Beacon and then run over to Bradgate and back - a good run!
Hmmm, don't agree with you there, basically the character of Beacon Hill has been radically altered over the last 15 years and IMO not for the best.
Parking - used to be voluntary (honesty box), then 50p mandatory, then £1, then all of a sudden it was £2.50 or something like that. At least it's now become pay on exit so that you only pay for the amount of time you're there.
Organising good parking? How exactly have the council organised it - the car parks have been there since the year dot, I can't see where they've been improved. The toilets - well they exist - but they're not exactly state of the art, clean, smell free, etc. These comments are mainly about the top car park - I'm not so familiar with the bottom one. I should probably point out that I'm no longer local but I do end up going there every couple of years or so.
Where have the trees gone? The ones in the area below outcrops 3 (Starship Trooper) and 4 (Silk & Satin). That area just looks naff nowadays and there seem to be more fences whereas many years ago it was all one open area. I think some of the other slopes have been similarly affected.
Maybe the Council has an ok vision for how the place should look, but I haven't seen that effectively communicated.
Running round Bradgate - not done it for years since moving away but what a great place it is for a run
They need some predators to manage the deer numbers - wolves - maybe not
The fences and the tree removal are part of a plan to restore the site to a more open heathland habitat, rather than the scrub woodland it had been becoming - grazing (and therefore sheep/ cattle/ llamas (!!) ) is part of that scheme, so requires fencing. They seem pretty good about letting people know when and where the livestock is and I know from places that I've worked that visitors never like tree felling
I'm not averse to change at Bradgate either, but it seems a fairly shitty way to go about it
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