Winter walks become a part of the week routine in the early months of the New Year and we are lucky in Leicestershire that we are surrounded by countryside escapes upon our doorsteps.
Bradgate Park, an 830-metre spectacle of forest, ruins, and wildlife, this all year round open park supplies a variety of routes in which to walk and explore and possibly spot a deer or two.
The deer have been enclosed at the park since 1241 and have become of central importance to the conservation and maintenance of the open space as well as the crumbling of Bradgate House ruins that are artistically scattered at the north end of the park.
In the later months of frosty cold weather the grass is crisp and the lakes are covered with thin sheets of ice creating an idyllic scene for the opportunist photographers among us.
As we head into March the buds of spring start to appear, the air gets warmer, and the deer head out from the warmth of the forest and back to roaming the grounds.
The park has so much to offer to the thousands of visitors that it welcomes each year, there are organised tour walks, community exploration and historical events, and the information and factual hub – the visitor centre, along with much more.
This year on October 16 when it was founded the Leicestershire Rotary Club are celebrating their centenary with the opening of the to be developed and constructed visitors centre.
David Brunton Vice-President of Leicestershire Rotary Club is looking forward to construction work commencing on the new visitor centre later this January: “For the celebrations of our centenary we wanted to do something that was available and accessible for everyone who lived in the Leicestershire and Rutland area and we thought there was no place better than Bradgate Park.
“The club has strong historical links with the park when back in the early 1900s we donated Swithland wood to Bradgate Trust and we are looking forward to continuing our cemented relationship.”
The visitor centre will be free so that people visiting the park can enjoy the building as an information hub where they can get educated about the park, wildlife, plants and history of the grounds whilst enjoying the selected exhibitions.
£150,000 was raised to make allowance for the visitors centre to be built and Sir David Attenborough will host the grand opening in September later this year.