03 October 2020
2d 2h 29m
The Bradgate Park Trust is the local educational and heritage charity that cares for Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood, some of Leicestershire’s best-loved areas of countryside, and their wildlife and heritage.
The Trust was formed in 1928, when our benefactor Charles Bennion purchased Bradgate Park from the Grey family, who had owned it since 1445, and gifted the Park to the Trust.
The Trust’s charitable purposes, simply put, are to maintain and improve the Park for the benefit of the public and to promote education and an appreciation of the environment.
The Bradgate Park Trust cares for the internationally important landscapes of Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood (which was also gifted to the Trust in 1931 by the Rotary Club of Leicester) and their rich wildlife, including Leicestershire’s largest wild red and fallow deer herds.
These sites that form our Estate are nationally protected by legislation and many of the heritage features of Bradgate Park are also designated for protection.
The heritage of the sites in our care goes back 560 million years and tells 15,000 years of human stories. We care for some of the oldest in situ fossils in the UK, the ruins of one of the most important country houses of Tudor England and many species of locally scarce wildlife.
Each year we work to understand more about these landscapes, working with others to uncover more about past residents, the varied natural heritage and to share this knowledge with others.
It takes an enormous amount of work and money to look after these precious historic and ecologically important open spaces and to ensure we stay open and free to enter for all.
• Bradgate Park is visited and enjoyed by half a million visitors each year, who explore the 834 acre Medieval Deer Park and the historic Ruins of Bradgate Park House, the family home of Lady Jane Grey.
• Our free Visitor Centre, which is open throughout the year, is enjoyed by over 70, 000 visitors each year and has something to appeal to all ages.
• Swithland Wood is the largest and most botanically diverse remnant of historic woodland in the Charnwood Forest.
When established, the running costs of the Trust were met by both Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council.
Nowadays the budget for maintaining the Estate is approximately £1.2 million a year and the Charity has to raise over 95% of this itself through events, grants, donations, pay and display parking, sales of Estate products and at our Tearooms and shop.
• It costs £3,300 a day to keep the Park and Swithland Wood open.
• Each of the 600 deer have to be given supplementary feed in winter, when grass is scarce, at a cost of £25 per animal each year. Your Lottery support of a weekly ticket would pay for this and is a great way to help the Park.
• Disposing of waste left by visitors costs £100 a day.
• For each acre of the Estate it costs £350 each year to care for the natural and historic heritage.
Your future support could help the Trust achieve remarkable things. We know we have accomplished much, but there is still so much to uncover and share for visitor’s enjoyment in the future.
The Bradgate Park Trust needs your help, so we can continue to care for and share these popular open spaces for generations to come.
Thank you for your support in joining the Charnwood Lottery and good luck!
Director of the Bradgate Park Trust
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