Redevelopment of Bracken Hall Countryside Centre
We are delighted to announce that Bracken Hall Countryside Centre has been awarded a Rural Development Programme grant from the Rural Payments Agency. This grant will update the Centre, producing a versatile and modern facility that will flourish as a permanent element of Shipley Glen. This will be an attraction future generations can be proud of. It will also better connect the Centre and Shipley Glen to other local attractions and facilities and encourage a wider visitor pool to spend more time in the area.
The aim is to create a tourism and educational package for a wide variety of target audiences. Traditional visitors to the Glen such as local day trippers, picnickers, walking groups, arts groups, birders, historical societies and educational school parties will continue to be catered for at the Centre. Bracken Hall will continue to encourage occasional and regular visits through its variety of displays, activities and special events, but will also offer a modern facility for workshops and third-party groups. Our goal is also to attract more visitors from further afield, and to encourage them to spend more time in the area by perhaps combining a visit to the Glen with a visit to Saltaire, or other sites such as Haworth, Ilkley or Bradford. The delivery of this vision requires an all year-round educational base for these individuals and groups, where they can meet, share experiences, gain knowledge of the local history and wildlife and enjoy the overall experience.
What is happening?
Bracken Hall Countryside Centre closed to the public in October 2021 and will reopen in January 2022.
An approximate 20% of additional internal floor area will be provided at the Centre by integrating an external courtyard area with the three existing separate buildings (i.e. Classroom, Exhibition Room and toilet block) into a single indoor facility. This will be achieved by connecting the three courtyard area walls with a new roof and an all-glass wall. This will fully enclose the area and create an all-weather multi-functional 'HUB'. The glass wall will be comprised of full width opening bi-fold doors, allowing for versatile and easy access, and the HUB will provide greater flexibility to accommodate larger visitor numbers. The HUB will become the new entrance to the Centre, allowing visitors and staff to remove wet coats if necessary, and thus prevent water from being walked around the Exhibition Room and Classroom, making the Centre an all-weather destination.
The architect's drawings below show this in more detail.
Architects plan - side elevation
Architects plan - ground floor
Work is progressing well on the HUB - here is the latest update, with the first couple of layers of fibre based roof sealant applied. Also visible is the thick layer of thermal insulation laid under the floor.
We have started our autumn pruning early this year, due to the site being closed from the end of September for the HUB building works (see below). This amazing display of Lords and Ladies (just one of several common names for this plant) was revealed when we removed some of the coppice poles. But be careful - these plants contain sharp oxalate crystals which can piece the skin and cause irritation, or worse if eaten as they can cause the throat to swell up inside. So - enjoy them from a distance!
Latest update (September 2021): TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF BHCC TO THE PUBLIC
Many thanks to all our visitors and supporters for your continued patience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks also to the visitors that have joined our volunteers and staff at BHCC since November last year. I think we've all seen and heard lots of things in the BHCC wildlife garden that we've not spotted before. We have also held a number of great events and activities including Martin's guided geology and fungi walks, and Jules's very popular science day. We've also had a few school groups return to BHCC, and some new schools - making use of the fabulous learning location, knowledgeable guides, and the unique location that is Shipley Glen.
For updates on these, please see this page, or for specific enquiries, contact Richard White, the Centre Manager (contact details below)
Please watch this space for updates.
Bracken Hall Countryside Centre, Glen Road, Baildon, BD17 5EA
Follow us online, on Facebook, or phone Richard White 07938 063 062, or email him on email@example.com if you have any specific enquiries