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Opening up the Attingham Estate

View to Wrekin at Attingham Park, Shropshire
View to Wrekin, Attingham Park, Shropshire | © National Trust/ Jayne Gough

We have identified an area of the Estate that we plan to open up to to provide more access to the outdoors for walking, cycling, running, and other outdoor activities. This identified outdoor activity area will be in a separate part of the Estate to the current area that visitors access.

The Attingham Estate is a ‘green lung’ between the towns of Shrewsbury and Telford. More people are seeking easy access to green space for activities and to connect with nature.

In 2023, over 589,000 people visited Attingham Park and with new houses being built in Shrewsbury and Telford, we are anticipating the need to provide more access to green space for the local community.

As a conservation charity, the National Trust’s core purpose is to care for nature, beauty and history for everyone, forever.

We’re been looking at how the 4,000 acre estate can best support the people of Shropshire and beyond. This forms part of the wishes of Thomas, 8th Lord Berwick, who left Attingham to the National Trust in 1947, so that it could be ‘for the public benefit’.

He [Thomas, 8th Lord Berwick] studied to leave his inheritance a thing of beauty that posterity might enjoy... Some day, others will finish what we could not.

A quote by Teresa, 8th Lady Berwick 1890-1972
Dog walking at Attingham Park
Dog walking at Attingham Park | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Site identified

We have identified an area of the wider estate to create more access to green space. It is located on a separate part of the estate, to the east of Attingham’s main site. The new site will provide an outdoor base and, via a network of multi-use trails for walking, cycling, running, and other outdoor activities. With a history including Romans, the evolution of farming and World War II airfield stories, the landscape is an interesting space for visitors to explore.

The new site will be located on the former WWII Atcham Airfield, land which is currently used mainly for arable farming. The runway and some other buildings still remain, and we will be conserving and highlighting the history and archaeology of this area by carrying out remedial works to some of the surviving structures.

Community focus

Attingham has always been a very locally visited property.

As part of the planning for this project, we have been working with our tenants, partners and local communities both in Shrewsbury and Telford.

In 2022, we ran a survey at Attingham to gain thoughts from visitors on nature, culture and activities for the new site. Thank you to all those who submitted feedback.

In 2023, we worked closely with a number of groups to look in detail at how the site might evolve. This included how the history of the site is shared with visitors and how these stories are told. We also looked at what activities on offer could look like. We hope that working with the community to plan provisions on the site offers new perspectives and creates an exciting visitor experience.

Our mission is to ensure the site is accessible, inclusive and exciting for all visitors. We want everyone to feel welcome.

At the heart of the National Trust’s strategy is improving access to our many outdoor locations to encourage people to enjoy the unique pleasure of spending time in nature. We want the next generation to grow up loving and caring for the Shropshire countryside. By providing facilities that appeal to them, and helping to nurture a positive connection with the outdoors, we hope they’ll grow to love it.

A quote by Mark AgnewAttingham Park General Manager
Two women running along a path in the woodland
Visitors running in parkland | © James Dobson

Conservation and sustainability

Attingham's Estate has been shaped by two rivers that converge on it, the Tern and the Severn. The rich productive soil in this fertile valley of the two rivers provided water, food and transport. Attingham’s earliest settlers found this to their liking, with lots of evidence of human activity from Iron Age field systems to the Roman city of Viroconium (now known as Wroxeter), Saxon palaces, and a Medieval farmed landscape.

We are working collaboratively with our farm tenants, to look at how we can deliver improvements for nature and help to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change whilst respecting the heritage of the landscape.

Find out more about what the work we are doing on the Attingham Estate to help nature thrive.

What will it look like?

The new site will be a purpose-built visitor facility that gives people access to a mix of high-quality activities and experiences in beautiful, natural surroundings.

We hope that the new site will be a destination for a full day of activity, and will include facilities to hire equipment and get changed, as well as a programme of led activities, spaces for events and accommodation.

Our paths and trails, which will criss-cross over previously unopened areas of the Attingham Estate, will offer a unique breadth of walking, running and cycling experiences.

At the heart of the hub will be new buildings, offering a café, community room, toilets, and cycle hire facilities. We will be working with local people and user groups to establish what activities they would like. Working with partners, we will also be developing community engagement, learning and wellbeing programmes for local schools, charities, and partner organisations.

The planned multi use trail in Phase one will create a circular 5km trail (amongst others), making the Attingham Estate more accessible for walking, cycling, and running. Over the next 10 years, the new hub site will also provide a key link to Shrewsbury, Haughmond and the Wrekin, working in partnership with Sustrans and Shropshire Council, tp create of connecting cycle routes.

The new site at Attingham will provide much-needed facilities for our visitors and local communities in Shropshire. We want to give people the opportunity to get outdoors, be more active and get closer to nature.

To give us a visual idea of what this new active site might look like, we’ve been working with a sustainable development consultancy, ARUP and Anotherkind Design Studio.

Our community partners have fed into the development of the new site.

Artist impression of Outdoor Hub site, Attingham Park, Shropshire
Artist impression of Outdoor Hub site | © ARUP and Anotherkind Design Studio

The journey so far


Working with Attingham's visitors

We are currently consulting to gain as much input and feedback from Attingham's exisiting visitors. This input will help to shape the new site, from the name of the site to what will be served in the cafe. 

We’re keen to hear back from as many people as possible, whether they visit Attingham every day, once a month, once a year or only once.

If you would like to share your thoughts follow the link below to take part in the survey. 

We need your help

Your thoughts will help to shape the end result. We’re keen to hear back from as many people as possible, whether you visit Attingham every day, once a month, or once a year.

Follow the link to answer our survey questions and input your ideas into the new activity site.

Naming the new site

Can you help us come up with a great name for the new site?

Below we have come up with some potential names for the new site, and we would love to hear your thoughts.

Fill out the survey to vote on the name. You can also share your name ideas with us too!

key facts

The Runway at Attingham

This is in reference to the historic use of the site as an RAF base.

Atcham Fields

This is in reference to the location of the site.

Active Attingham

This is in reference to the proposed future use of the site.

Visitors on the bike track at Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Visitors walking along multi-use trail | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Your questions answered

Contact us


Please feel free to contact us with any further questions or feedback.
Cattle in the parkland near the Mansion

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