After the Second World War, the Legh family entrusted Lyme to the National Trust for the ‘health, education, and delight of local people’. Today, this special place welcomes over 300,000 visitors every year, and we work every day to live up to these principles. There are three primary aims to our work:
Adapting to the future
In 2019 torrents of water caused £250,000 worth of damage at Lyme, and swept away much of the formal gardens, before flooding the Swine Ground and Timber Yard areas. With the climate changing, leading to ever more frequent extreme weather events, places like Lyme are at risk and we need to act now for Lyme and nearby places.
Respecting the past
This sits at the heart of everything we do. Four hundred years ago the main entrance to Lyme came from Macclesfield and Poynton, through the current car park. By the 19th century, this space was an open piece of land known as the ‘Swine Ground’, with a stream running through from Reflection Lake to the millpond. We aim to improve our resilience to flooding and in doing so reinstate the historic approach to the House.
Improving your experience
When opening to visitors in 1947, it could never have been anticipated that Lyme would welcome over 300,000 people each year. As part of the project, we plan to upgrade our facilities, from car parks to cafés, to ensure that you have a great experience when you are with us.
What's happening and where?
We're embarking on a series of works over the coming years. Here's an overview of what we're planning and where. Whilst necessary works are taking place it may cause some disruption to your visits. We'll be sharing updates on when this will be and what to expect nearer the time. For now, below are the key aims for the first piece of work below and a map of what we're planning.
Moving the car park
Our current car park is highly at risk of flooding due to climate change. We’re proposing to move the car park to a different location in the park. While we won’t be increasing the 1000 space capacity that we currently have, the new location will ensure that all the spaces can be used all year round, helping alleviate the pressure on local roads at peak times.
Reducing traffic on the A6
We know that the volume of traffic the A6 is high. To help minimise issues caused by traffic coming in and out of Lyme, we are looking to make access into Lyme more efficient at places like the admissions hut. Ensuring that the 1000 car park spaces are available all year round will also help to lessen the impact on the road and local neighbours on peak days.
Supporting green travel
We are fully committed to encouraging people to arrive at Lyme on foot, on bike, and by public transport. We’re currently working with partners to investigate opportunities to incentivise people to visit without a car. Our long-term sustainable travel strategy has been submitted as part of the planning application, and are keen to hear from you on how we could be even better!
Looking after nature
As a conservation charity, we’re committed to looking after nature and protecting places for everyone to enjoy. Our plans involve restoring the current car park back to a natural grassland area, which will improve the ecology here. We’ll continue to ensure that the wildlife and livestock that we care for is protected during construction by working with ecologists. We will continue to put ecology at the heart of what we do, whether improving habitats for great crested newts, protecting ground nesting birds or planting trees. You can read more about how we’re caring for the landscape at Lyme here.
Access for everyone
We are committed to making everyone welcome and access is critically important to us. We aim to connect the car park, house, gardens and Timber Yard with a new path network and will operate a minibus service from the new car park. We will retain the accessible parking spaces at the orangery and Timber Yard, as well as having accessible spaces in the new car park.