National Trust to run Beechen Cliff slopes overlooking heart of Bath
Plans are being put into place to hand over management of a stretch of Bath woodland with spectacular views of the city to the National Trust.
The Beechen Cliff slopes, which run down from Alexandra Park, are currently owned by Bath and North East Somerset Council but are proving too costly and difficult to maintain.
A proposal was due to go before the council’s cabinet last night recommending that management but not ownership of the site is handed over to the National Trust as a way of ensuring it is kept in the best possibly condition.
As part of the plans, B&NES would give the trust the adjoining fields and allotments as a gift.
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The report, written by the council’s neighbourhood services manager John Crowther, said the local authority simply did not have the funds needed to make the most of the historically important land.
It said the council had been unable to maintain Beechen Cliff to the standard identified within a 1993 management plan drawn up by a consultant.
“This is not a result of lack of professional and technical expertise by the council’s staff, but as a result of insufficient revenue funding within the parks budgets.
“It is considered that a management agreement with the National Trust will ensure the future stewardship of such an important asset and at a higher standard than could be delivered by the council acting alone.”
If the deal goes ahead, B&NES will donate £500,000 to the trust’s £2 million Bath World Heritage Landscape Appeal to generally look after its sites in and around Bath.
Around £50,000 of that money will directly go towards the works needed at Beechen Cliff to put the land in a good state of maintenance.
If the scheme goes to plan then the initial agreement will be signed later this month and the management agreement drawn up at the beginning of next year.