Sep 19 2018

Skipton Castle Woods Summer Update

Its’s been a while since we have updated you on the activity at Skipton Castle Woods, one of the trusts Visitor Experience Destination Sites. The Skipton Project Team has been busy progressing the interpretation plan, visitor experience design plan and engagement plan since January – here are our highlights.

 

  • Our events programme got off to a soggy but fabulous start at Easter when over 450 visitors braved the rain to take part in our annual Easter Hunt – we were supported by the talent from Rusticus Theatre who provided walk about entertainment in the guise of medieval poachers.
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  • Planning permission for two stunning willow sculptures was granted back in July and our appointed artist, Anna and the Willow, is progressing well with the Spirit of the Hunter and Stalking Horse.
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  • Dan Watson, a woodsman from Leeds, completed the Big Story Chair commission for us in June.  The chair, made from ash, hazel, oak and beech, will launch next spring during school holidays in the woodland.
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  • Local company Nature House are well on the way to working with the community on a special addition to the Big Story Chair – a brand new all-weather book written with schools in the area.  Nature House have been commissioned to create a brand new fairy tale for the woodland based on the characters of the woodsman, lord, villager and carpenter.  Watch this space!
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  • Voices of the Wood – six audio scripts have been commissioned to bring to life stories of the woodland; the hornbeam tree, the voice of Eller Beck, the quarry worker, the mill worker, the ticket inspector and a surprising find, Charlotte Bronte and her link to the wood. These voices will be a wonderful addition to live interpretation on site and will also be available to visitors via download.
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  • Volunteer update – we now have a staggering 45 volunteers at Skipton Castle Woods and task days are well underway thanks to support from Assistant Site Manager Alec Pue.  We are now in the process of recruiting a Dry Stone Wall Task Group – if you want to join us to experience a dry stone wall taster or training session please let me know.
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  • Site maintenance improvements have continued led by Site Manager Mark Feather. These include new gates and fencing, new walls, repairs to paths and the revetment alongside Eller Beck.
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  • With the support of the central Social Media team, we now have an active Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account for Skipton Castle Woods with a total number of 2200 followers.  TripAdvisor has gone from strength to strength with the woodland earning a second Certificate of Excellence as well as moving from 9th to 2nd in the ‘Top things to do in Skipton’ category.

Over the next few months Skipton will feature in Broadleaf and have a visit from BBC Radio Leeds. We will also be tackling the impact of ash dieback as contractors work to remove severely affected trees around the path network. Thank you to all the teams involved in the VED Project at Skipton, your support is much appreciated.

           Hazel, Visitor Experience Officer, Skipton Castle Woods.

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