East Leake Women’s Institute’s last meeting saw members joined by five new visitors for a very enjoyable talk from Peter Tyldesley, director of the Bradgate Park Trust.
Bradgate Park is a site of special scientific interest for its wildlife habitats, geological importance and historical significance and is the most-visited property in Leicestershire.
We were fascinated to learn about the colourful history of this former home of Lady Jane Grey and her family which passed through generations until the last Earl of Stanford’s massive spending habits bankrupted the family and it fell in to disrepair.
In 1928, local industrialist Charles Bennion purchased the park and presented it to “the people of Leicestershire for their quiet enjoyment” and the trust are currently celebrating 90 years as its managing body.
It was interesting to discover the way in which the funding of the park has changed over the years, with 80% of income now coming from visitors.
Exciting partnerships have been forged to enhance visitor experience, including excavations by the University of Leicestershire, Poets in the Park and a memorial woodland.
It was reassuring to know that the trust is working hard to ensure that the ancient and veteran trees, flourishing deer herd, geological features and the famous old John Tower are safeguarded for the future.
Other recent activities included a stroll in the country followed by a café stop, a pub lunch, two craft sessions and a visit to Stoneywell House
Why not come along as a visitor, join in and find out more about us, we offer a warm welcome to a range of events and activities with fun and friendship.
The November meeting takes place on Tuesday 13th November and the top is Christmas Craft.
For more details contact Catherine Cleaver, WI president, on 01509 856711.
By Denise Graham