New trail will allow more people to enjoy Ickworth’s parkland
A multi-million pound scheme to give visitors greater access to historic parkland will see a new multi-use trail built at a grand country estate in Suffolk.
The Ickworth estate, near Bury St Edmunds, is one of ten National Trust places chosen to build the new trails, which offer visitors a new way of experiencing the grounds of the historic venue.
The all-weather 9.4km (six-mile) trail at Ickworth will allow access for all and can be used by cyclists, walkers, runners, wheelchair users and buggy-pushers.
Construction on the trail will begin this month, with the circular, off-road route taking visitors to areas of the parkland they may not have previously seen – opening up new landscape views and giving visitors with a wide range of interests and abilities the opportunity to use it.
Officially opening in the autumn, with a shorter route also available, the all-weather surface means more people can explore the grounds of the estate whatever the season.
Ickworth’s origins can be traced back to the Domesday book when it was merely one of hundreds of assets belonging to the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds.
Tim Watson, general manager at Ickworth, said: “At the National Trust we’re passionate about getting people outdoors and closer to nature.
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“The new cycle trail will be designed with surfaces that can be used all year round. It will allow access for all – walkers, adapted wheelchair users, runners, cyclists and pushchairs.
“Our aim is to make access to the outdoors as easy as possible and for people to feel comfortable about heading off into the countryside.”
The multi-million pound National Trust scheme for the trails is in partnership with Sport England.
Mr Watson added that the trail will allow so much more of Ickworth’s estate to be shared with visitors.
“As more families visit Ickworth, it’s important we can provide a safe place for them to enjoy the wider estate too,” he said.
“This new venture means we can share so much more of the estate with our visitors and we’re looking forward to seeing people heading out on the new trail.
“It is thanks to the support of Sport England, our members, donors and visitors, that we can find new ways to open up the parkland at Ickworth.”