The Ebworth Centre

A view of the Ebworth Centre office in sunshine

A bustling, rural estate in the heart of the Cotswold countryside, the Ebworth Centre is not only the base for the Heart of the Cotswold ranger team, but a hub for education and learning, developing rural skills and working in partnership with other organisations.

The story of the Ebworth Estate

 
In 1989 John Workman gave the Ebworth Estate to the National Trust. John was a National Trust forestry advisor for 30 years, co-founder of the Tree Council and co-founder of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, as well as ex-president of the Royal Forestry Society (RFS). He was also one of the few recipients of the National Trust Octavia Hill medal and considered by many as one of the most influential foresters of his generation. 
 
The estate includes five hundred acres of beech woodland, which form part of a larger National Nature Reserve, and six hundred acres of organic farmland. 
 
The beech woodland is of international importance for conservation and is part of a continuous block of ancient semi -natural woodland and grassland along the Cotswold scarp.
 
John Workman loved the estate, particularly the woods, and even had a favourite tree which visitors are still able to spot. However, it was his wish to pass on this passion and knowledge of the countryside to future generations, and it is this wish that National Trust rangers hope will come to life at the Ebworth Centre.
 
The Centre immediately adjoins the woodlands. It was established in the range of old stone buildings which make up a traditional Cotswold manor farmstead, as a centre for woodland study, management and practical work. The old coach house is now home to the administrative offices of the National Trust’s Heart of the Cotswolds portfolio of outdoor sites – which include Woodchester Park, Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons, Haresfield Beacon, Crickley Hill, Dover's Hill and May Hill. Natural England also share the site as an office, and work with the ranger team on several projects. 
 
A carving in Ebworth Woods
Ebworth Woods, Gloucestershire

Have you 'herd' about our cows?

 
Area Ranger Matt Stanway is among the team based at the Ebworth Centre, and manages a herd of pedigree Belted Galloway cattle. The herd are essential to the conservation of the wildflower-rich Cotswold grasslands in the surrounding area, by providing low-intensity grazing that naturally supports biodiversity. 
 
As well as grazing areas of National Trust countryside such as Crickley Hill, Bibury and the Ebworth Estate itself, the herd provide a grazing service to other local landowners and organisations, working in partnership with Butterfly Conservation, The Wildlife Trust and Natural England, to name a few.
 
A rich and varied diet of grasses, herbs and flowers contributes to the award-winning, distinctive taste of the Ebworth Belted Galloway Beef, which is enjoyed by many every Autumn through the Estate's fresh meat box scheme. Beef boxes with an assortment of different cuts including: mince, stewing meat, steaks and joints are available to order.
The pedigree Belted Galloway herd grazing the Cotswold grasslands
Landscape photo of Belted Galloway herd with ranger in landrover

Ways that you can visit the Ebworth Estate

 
The Ebworth Centre is currently used as a venue for lectures, meetings and rural skills workshops, with the Workman lecture theatre available to hire offerring free wifi and self-service catering facilities. 
 
Several local schools and a toddler group frequently use the site for outdoor lessons and play, encouraging children to spend more time outside in the fresh air. 
 
A group of children have fun building dens on the Ebworth Estate
A group of children have fun building dens on the Ebworth Estate
The Centre and it's surrounding woodlands and countryside is also the venue of a series of mountain-biking events throughout the year:
 
- Sunday 11 December 2016 - Winter Cross-country
- Sunday 8 January 2017 - Winter Cross-country
- Sunday 12 February 2017 - Winter Cross-country
- Sunday 12 March 2017 - Winter Cross-country
 
For information and bookings visit madevents.wordpress.com and my6.raceresult.com/45747/info.
 
Travelling by car, the Ebworth Centre is located on the B4070 road between Birdlip and Stroud, and is signposted from this road near the Foston's Ash pub. The postcode to use is GL6 7ES. 
 
There is car-parking on arrival, although this is restricted to office hours only (including weekends) and please note that the gate to the main car-park is locked after 4:30pm. Compostable toilet facilities are available (including limited mobility facilities) and the Centre is also the starting point for a circular waymarked walk, further information is available at the interpretation board on site. Dogs are welcome but please keep them under close control. 
 
Please be aware that children, animals and farm machinery may all be encountered on the Estate, so do take care. 
 
For more information, to hire the lecture theatre or to place an order for Beef Boxes in the Autumn please contact the Ebworth Centre on 01452 814 213 or email heartofthecotswolds@nationaltrust.org.uk