AS I walked into the Teversal Trails Visitor Centre yesterday, it was already full of walkers who had stopped for a well-earned cup of tea and bacon cob.
The visitor centre, which stands at the entrance of the popular Teversal Trails, is not only a resting place for ramblers but also a community hub with free art and cane-weaving classes and the chance to find out more about the area.
Volunteer treasurer Trevor Carter says: “We are applying for charitable status and we cater for the community - horse riders, walkers, cyclists, walking groups and we cater for tourists that come from the caravan site. We try to cater for everyone’s needs and the refreshments are our main income.”
The visitor centre first opened to the public in 1993 and it was run by Ashfield District Council.
But earlier this year, the centre became the responsibility of the volunteer-run Teversal Visitor Centre Association under an asset transfer agreement.
The transfer began in January and from April the centre became the responsibility of the volunteers who run it on a not-for-profit basis.
The visitor centre, which is open six days a week between 10.30am and 2.45pm, has plenty to offer those who stop off there.
For walkers, there is information pack of six trails which take in points of interest such as Silverhill Woods, Hardwick Hall, Pleasley’s connection to Florence Nightingale’s family and Teversal Manor - which is said to be the inspiration for Wragby Hall in D.H. Lawrence’s novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
The centre is also a lunchtime stop-off for the free Ashfield District Council-run heritage bus tours, which next take place in September.
Describing the tours, the council’s
Heritage and Tourism Development Officer Denis Hill said: “So many people say, ‘we’ll come back again’.
“It’s an introduction to what the district has to offer and at the end of the day, all we ask is that people tell their friends and family and bring them back.”
For those wanting to find out more about the Teversal area, there are displays documenting the area’s mining and social heritage.
Trevor said: “All the customers we have are excellent - they are very good to us. We asked for mining memorabilia and that’s how we got this cabinet of it. We try to make it for everyone.”
The visitor centre relies on 10 hardworking volunteers to keep running - and anyone who is able to spare a few hours is urged to get in touch.
Trevor says: “We are hoping to start opening a little bit earlier because you get the dog walkers who come at 10am.”
Anyone interested in volunteering opportunities should contact Kath on Mansfield 640483. For details on the Ashfield Heritage Bus Tour call 450000.