On Monday, March 3rd Severn Gorge Countryside Trust (SGCT) is launching a new Iron Trail with a leaflet and video on a brand new website, which, along with several other new trails, aims to enhance the Ironbridge Gorge’s existing reputation as a major world tourism destination.
Following an interpretation strategy for the World Heritage Site by PLB consultants in 2008, SGCT have been working with a range of partners, including the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and Telford & Wrekin Council, to improve the way the cultural landscape of the World Heritage Site is interpreted to both the visitors and local people.
One of PLB’s recommendations was that the beautiful yet complex landscape of the World Heritage Site together with the ten Museums could be better seen as one whole visitor experience through the creation of a series of high profile trails.
SGCT has spent the past two years researching the landscape history working closely with local people and experts, to produce a flagship Iron Trail, which is an enjoyable three and a half mile stroll starting from the Iron Bridge itself. It then winds its way up through the Sabbath Walks within Dale Coppice, which were laid out by Quaker Iron Master Richard Reynolds in the early 1790s, and which we now believe was the first privately funded public park in the UK, some 160 years before National Parks.
The trail takes in breath taking views from the Rotunda on Lincoln Hill towards the Iron Bridge and then down a series of steps back into Ironbridge. For the hundreds of thousands of visitors who plan to come to Ironbridge each year, SGCT has developed a new website which includes two new videos where, from the comfort of your armchair, you can walk the Iron Trail and find out about our volunteering programmes or download a range of material.
Russell Rowley, Manager of SGCT said; “We will also launch a Lime Trail of Benthall Edge and a new Ironbridge to Blists Hill walking leaflet which takes in the remains of the historic Madeley Wood Hall and provides a safe and enjoyable stroll through Lloyds Coppice.
“We hope that the new website, videos and trails, will help local people and visitors alike to explore the wonderful landscape of the Ironbridge Gorge. We also hope that it will inspire visitors from all over the world to stay for a few nights in the excellent local hotels and B&Bs and spend that little bit more to help the many businesses that make a vital part of the local economy”.
For copies of the new trails send an SAE to the SGCT office at Darby Road, Coalbrookdale, TF8 7EP, or they are free to download from website www.severngorge.org.uk; for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01952 433880.