Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, well behaved dogs will be welcome.
Yes, it is proposed that these will be located near the car park and would be wheelchair accessible and have a changing place.
The proposal includes making refreshments available.
The parkland has been designed to provide access for people of all ages. Different routes around the site would suit different people.
The first 35 hectares of the site (Phase 1) including the pay and display car park, the northern area of the site and access around the lake will be open to the public by Spring 2026.
The area around the lake will only be accessible at weekends and bank holidays to keep visitors safely away from restoration activities in the southern section of the quarry.
Phase 2 in the south-eastern area of the site will be progressively restored and the land will be fully open to the public by 2042.
These dates are subject to planning permission being granted.
Phase 1 of the proposed restoration will be completed with chalk excavated from Pitstone Quarry, so no imported material required.
Phase 2 will use imported material to reform the landscape. The imported material will be inert and consist of clays and silts excavated from nearby construction sites. All materials will be subject to stringent testing and will be certified by the Environment Agency. Once the imported material is in place it will be capped with chalk from Pitstone Quarry.
The proposals include access to the lake for open water swimming. A beach area and pontoon will be created for greater accessibility. Swimming area will be limited to the western half of the lake while the shallower part of the lake will allow the wetland habitats to be undisturbed. The proposals include changing facilities on the site.
Swimming will only be permitted at weekends, and potentially on some evenings by agreement during phase 2 of the restoration as excavation of the site will still be taking place on weekdays and there will be significant lorry movement across the access road to the lake area.
Once phase 2 is complete, swimming will be permitted seven days a week. We have said that access to the lake area of the park will be available at weekends & by agreement on some evenings. When Phase 2 is completed access to the entire site will be 7 days a week, aligned to local NT opening. Open water swimming is likely to be predominantly available at the weekends and at additional times by agreement.
The primary recreational focus of the site will be for walking and swimming. The paths will the accessible for mobility vehicles, wheelchairs, buggies, pushchairs and children’s bicycles but the proposal does not include cycle paths.
The paths around the site will not be suitable to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists safely. The site will not be suitable for mountain biking. Bike racks will be available to visitors who wish to cycle to the site.
Ashridge Estate is always on the lookout for volunteers to help look after the special landscape and more volunteers will be needed for the ongoing care of the Pitstone Quarry site once phase 1 is complete.
To find out more about volunteering at Ashridge Estate visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/essex-bedfordshire-hertfordshire/ashridge-estate/volunteering-at-ashridge-estate
Employment opportunities can be found at https://www.nationaltrustjobs.org.uk/