Bradgate Park Trust: Preserving Leicestershire’s Premier Country Park

Bradgate Park Trust is a registered charity established in 1928 by Charles Bennion, who purchased the Estate for the enjoyment of visitors. The Trust is responsible for the conservation, management, and maintenance of Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood, Leicestershire’s premier country park.

The Jewel of Leicestershire: Bradgate Park

Bradgate Park is a Medieval Deer Park, covering over 830 acres, and is home to 550 red and fallow deer, the UK’s oldest fossils, and the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey. The park is open all year, from 7.45 am to dusk, and attracts approximately 900,000 visitors annually.

Exploring the Park’s Rich Heritage

The park’s Visitor Centre tells the story of its rich geological, archaeological, social, built, and natural heritage. Visitors can learn about the park’s history, from the ancient fossils to the ruins of Bradgate House, the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey.

Enjoying the Outdoors

Bradgate Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. The park features scenic walking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for wildlife watching. Visitors can also explore the park’s two tearooms and the Memorial Wood, where they can celebrate someone special with a unique Bronze Memorial Oak Leaf.

Swithland Wood: A Treasure Trove of Biodiversity

bradgate park trust

Swithland Wood, an attractive and atmospheric area of Ancient Woodland, covers 170 acres and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Wood is an important habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species, with rocky outcrops and old quarries.

Preserving the Natural Wonders

The Bradgate Park Trust is committed to protecting and sharing the heritage in its care, now and for future generations. The Trust offers various volunteering opportunities, including conservation projects, helping visitors at the Visitor Centre, guiding walks and tours, assisting with events, school visits, and community talks.

Challenges and Resilience

In 2017, following a fire in April, the Trust advised all visitors to be alert to the risk of causing fire. The Trust has also faced other challenges, such as the 1905 bequest of the estate to the earl’s niece, Mrs Arthur Duncombe, and the 1928 sale of the ancient Deer Park with the ruins of Bradgate House.

Overcoming Adversity

Despite these challenges, the Bradgate Park Trust has remained dedicated to its mission of conserving and managing the park for the enjoyment of visitors. The Trust’s commitment to protecting and sharing the park’s heritage has ensured that it remains a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.


Bradgate Park Trust is a shining example of how a dedicated and passionate organization can preserve and share the natural and cultural heritage of a region. Through its conservation efforts, educational programs, and volunteer opportunities, the Trust has ensured that Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood remain a cherished part of Leicestershire’s landscape for generations to come.

Wikipedia – Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park Trust Official Website
Charity Commission – Bradgate Park Trust
Heritage Trust Network – Bradgate Park Trust

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