National Trust Opens Outdoors Shop as new Gateway to Cheddar Gorge Countryside

By The National Trust, PRNE
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SWINDON, England, July 28, 2010 - The first ever National Trust centre and shop for the outdoors has opened
in Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, providing visitors with information to help
them explore the surrounding Somerset countryside.

With not a tea towel or wooden duck in sight, visitors will be able to
buy from a new outdoors product range, including walking socks and Ordnance
Survey maps, in what will be a major change to the usual National Trust
shopping experience.

More than half-a-million people a year take a day out in Somerset
and visit Cheddar Gorge, part of the reason why this location
was chosen as the first centre of its type to highlight the work of the
National Trust in the outdoors.

Andy Mayled, National Trust General Manager for the Somerset Countryside,
said: "We won't be selling the tea towels and lavender bags that you'd
normally expect to find in a Trust shop.

"Our work in Cheddar Gorge is all about giving people access to the open
countryside and this shop will sell the things needed to help people get out
into the great outdoors. The new centre will help us to tell the story of the
National Trust's work in Cheddar Gorge, of which we own half, and the wider
Somerset countryside sites that we manage from Exmoor to Glastonbury Tor."

Mark Harold, the National Trust's champion for the outdoors, said: "Our
founders recognised the need for everyone to find space to relax and recharge
their batteries. We want to inspire everyone to play outside, to enjoy the
beauty and fun our places offer for natural refreshment, essential to
everyone's quality of life. Centres like this one at Cheddar should be the
first stop for people looking for great ideas to explore their countryside."

Large panels and interactive wall displays in the centre will also
highlight places to be explored and enjoyed in the area.

Rowena Nokes, Somerset Commercial Manager for the National Trust,
explained: "The information panels show people where and how they can get out
and about to enjoy the countryside, whether cycling, camping (,
climbing or simply going for a countryside walk (

"It is a new centre so we want to hear from our first visitors what they
think about it, how they want to use Cheddar Gorge and what help we can give
for them to make it possible. We want to change people's perception of the
National Trust; we are not just about country houses, we look after coast and
countryside as well and we really want to encourage people to get out into

Cheddar Gorge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of the
region's top rock climbing centres.

Notes to editors:

About National Trust:

More than 30 different outdoor activities from canoeing to surfing and
rock climbing to walking take place on National Trust land. With more than
250,000 hectares of countryside and 710 miles of coastline across England,
Wales and Northern Ireland there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the
great outdoors with the National Trust. There are over 130 free downloadable
walks (
and cycling routes (
on the National Trust website. These include some of the most iconic sites in
the UK with bracing coastal walks at the White Cliffs of Dover to wandering
through Constable country in Essex. The walks provide a map with directions
and details of what might be seen en route.

    For further information, please contact:
    Jane Travis
    Press and PR Manager
    NT Enterprises
    National Trust
    Kemble Drive
    SN2 2NA

For further information, please contact: Jane Travis, Press and PR Manager, NT Enterprises, National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2NA, +44(0)844-800-4955

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