The Trust aims to provide an open place where the public can enjoy quiet, peaceful pursuits in a rural environment.
The Whitlingham Charitable Trust was created in 1988 to manage and maintain Whitlingham Country Park for the public's benefit. The main aim of the Trust was to ensure that the Park provided an open place where the public could enjoy quiet pursuits in a rural environment.
Large numbers of people visit Whitlingham Country Park to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and the opportunity to partake in the water activities available on the Great Broad. The estimated annual attendance at the Country Park has increased to nearly 500,000 in 2013/14 of which 150,000 used the facilities at the Visitor Centre.
Managing these pressures in order to ensure that the park continues to provide opportunities for quiet enjoyment represents a considerable challenge. Day to day management of the Park as well as the operation of the Flint Barn visitor centre is the responsibility of the Broads Authority, while Norfolk County Council manages the water space and Whitlingham Adventure.
14/10/2019 - Statement on the future management arrangements of Whitlingham Country Park
The Trustees of the Whitlingham Charitable Trust have taken the decision to bring to an end the ongoing management of Whitlingham Country Park by the Broads Authority.
The current agreement, under which the Authority manages the site and operates a visitor centre, will end on 31 March 2020, following a successful partnership spanning 25 years.
Since 1995 the Broads Authority has worked with the Trust and other partners to manage and maintain the upkeep of the park including the grounds, woodlands, pathways, visitor information centre at the Flint Barn and associated catering and cleaning contract.
“We would like to thank the Broads Authority for their commitment and are extremely grateful for their hard work over the last 25 years,” said a spokesperson for Whitlingham Charitable Trust. “During this time the Trust has benefited from the considerable support of the Broads Authority through appointments to the Trust and the management and maintenance services delivered under the existing arrangement.”
“The Trustees have however decided that the next phase in the Country Park's development is to be led by the charity independently from the Broads Authority. A plan to transition to the new arrangements is under development with a start date of 1 April 2020.”
Bill Dickson, Chairman of the Broads Authority commented:
“We at the Broads Authority are sad that our 25 year partnership with the Colman family is coming to an end. We really wish the Trustees every success in building on what we have achieved together. I would like to emphasise that we will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition.
“We regard Whitlingham Country Park as a hugely important public resource which offers people from Norwich, Norfolk and beyond a valuable open space for recreation and learning. For many people it has been their first experience and a great introduction to the Broads National Park with an estimated 500,000 visits every year.
“We are proud of our track record of maintenance and improvements at Whitlingham Country Park. The Authority has provided a solid platform for the Trust to continue providing a valued, popular and much loved public space as defined by the planning agreement under which it was created.”
The Broads Authority is investigating the redeployment of staff affected by this decision to other areas of the Broads and is considering other locations to host visitor services, education and volunteer activities. Rangers currently working at Whitlingham will work with the wider team on other valuable habitat and waterway maintenance and improvement programmes.
Whitlingham Country Park is managed and maintained by the Whitlingham Charitable Trust. The Country Park began its life with a transfer of Trowse Wood and Meadows to the Trust in 1992 by the Colman Family, the owners of Crown Point Estate. Further transfers of land and the two broads occurred in the 1990s through to 2004 when the Park as it exists today was finally created.
Who are we?
As a charity, the Trust comprises Trustees or ‘Directors’ appointed by the Broads Authority, Crown Point estate and the local authorities to oversee the way in which the park is run. The Trust’s main source of income is from car parking and access to the park is free.
The interim chairman is Mr Rob Bennett and the other Trustees are Mr R Hutton, Mr M Falcon, Mr J Colman and Mr C Penn.
Whitlingham Charitable Trust is a registered charity and subject to charity law. In particular it is regulated by the Charity Commission and subject to their guidance. The Whitlingham Charitable Trust is also subject to its own constitution, namely its Memorandum and Articles of Association, which are approved by the Charity Commission.
Whitlingham Annual Forum Meeting
An open public meeting is held annually to discuss all issues relating to the Country Park. The last meeting was held on Monday 20 November 2018.
The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed and will take place at the Flint Barn Visitor Centre, Whitlingham Country Park, Trowse, Norwich NR14 8TR.
Secretary and Registered Office:
The Whitlingham Charitable Trust is a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Registrar of Companies. Its company secretary is Rob Rogers, Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich, NR1 1RY which is also the company's registered office.