In recent years, Escapade Events have developed a great relationship with The National Trust. We are often tasked with finding extensive, peaceful and beautiful locations in order to run unique, adventurous outdoor events and team building activities. The National Trust own and manage nearly 1000 square miles of British countryside, much of which is available for hire for events if managed with due care and consideration.
Exploitation of the natural features within these sites make them some of the most exciting locations for team building days. Rather than hiring team building games and equipment, events can be designed around the natural assets in these extensive sites.
Good examples of this are the forests and trails around venues such as Woodchester Park (Gloucestershire), Mendip Hills (Somerset) and Toys Hill (Kent). Team building activities that can make use of these venues include tree climbing, caving, mountain biking and trail walking. The variety of these activities ensures that there is something for everyone. Some may be seeking adrenaline whilst others prefer more gentle pursuits. Ultimately these sites provide an opportunity to share valuable time outdoors with colleagues.
Many of The National Trust sites are coastal. This allows activities such as sea kayaking, cliff top walks, grass boarding and sand sculpting to become integral parts of the event. In the summer of 2017 we hired a stunning piece of the north Somerset coastline from the National Trust to run a team building event for 200 guests. Access to these sites is often tricky but worth the effort. Negotiation with adjacent local landowners for access was an important part of the planning process.
The most important consideration when working with the National Trust is respect for the landscape. This organisation has a national duty to preserve and protect historic places and spaces. We have found that they are very open to making their sites accessible for corporate events providing that the event is sympathetic to the landscape. Every single piece of litter must be removed, all gates must be left as found and on departure, the site must be spotless.
The price for venue hire is calculated by The National Trust on an event-by-event basis and is a welcome contribution towards their maintenance costs. The other factor worth bearing in mind is that to run an event in a remote location, you will require professional event management. There is likely to be no toilets, water, shelter, waste removal or power, all of which must be provided.
Executed correctly, outdoor events in these locations can be unique, exciting and inspiring.