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About Dartington

Car parking charges

Wednesday 09 May

In response to feedback received we are exploring options for the implementation of an annual parking permit for frequent visitors and supporters. If you would like to to learn more about this scheme, please email parking@dartington.org.

We have taken the decision to introduce car parking charges in the car parks on the Dartington Hall estate and at The Shops at Dartington from Friday 20th July. We are also in discussions with the Dartington Recreation Association over the potential to introduce charges in the Community Car Park in Dartington village.

This will help us to raise funds towards maintenance of the Dartington estate. It currently costs in excess of £1 million a year to maintain the estate, which is open to all and free to explore and enjoy. Parking fees will contribute towards on-going maintenance of the estate’s roads, footpaths, buildings, grounds and gardens.
We have a network of permissive footpaths on the estate as well as bike racks available on the main estate and at the Shops. In line with our commitment to sustainability, we encourage people using the estate to cycle, walk, use the public bus (#165) or car or taxi share where possible. An electric car charging point is also avaialble in the main car park.

New charging structure – from 28 February 2013 as follows:

At the Shops at Dartington:

  • Between 9.00 am and 5.30 pm charges are 30p an hour
  • After 5.30 pm and until 11.00 pm, a flat fee of £1.00 applies

At Meadowbrook:

  • Between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm charges are 30p an hour and there is no charge after 5.00 pm.

On the core Estate:

  • Between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm charges are 30p an hour
  • After 4.00 pm a flat fee of £1.00 applies
  • All day rate of £3.00 available between 9.00am and 11.00pm

All car parks allow 15 minutes free with a ticket from the machine to continue.

A full list of frequently asked questions is below.

Car Parking Charges – FAQs

Q1. When are the car parking charges going to be introduced?
Car parking charges will be introduced to the estate from Friday 20th July 2012.

Q2. Who will be subject to car parking charges?
Everyone will be subject to car parking charges except those with a parking permit or drivers displaying a valid Blue Badge. (Parking permits are only available to certain users of Dartington estate. Please see Q12 & Q14 for further information.)

Q3. How much are the car parking charges?
Parking charges will be 30p per hour between the hours of 8am – 11pm in all Pay and Display (P&D) car parks, 7 days a week including Bank Holidays. First 15 min FREE (visitors must obtain a ticket for their 15 minutes free parking by pressing the green button car park meters on arrival). Charges will be subject to review. Parking refunds on up to three hours of parking will be given at the Shops at Dartington on purchases over £10 (excluding purchases at Haven Spa, Cranks, Venus Cafe and Dynamic Adventures).

Q4. Where on the estate will car parking charges apply?
P&D car parks include the main car park at Dartington Hall and the car parks at The Shops at Dartington. In addition, the car park at Aller Park will be a mixture of P&D and parking permits.

Q5. What will happen to cars parked that are not displaying a valid ticket?
Cars parked outside designated spaces or without displaying a valid P&D ticket or parking permit will be issued with parking tickets. Parking tickets incur a £60 fee (£40 if paid within 14 days)

Q6. How will the P&D system work?
Car parking charges will be issued through standard P&D car park machines. Please note that the car park machines do not accept credit or debit cards, however there will be an option to pay using your mobile phone by calling 08456 800 104 or online at www.dashparking.co.uk. Otherwise, coins are required for payment. Unfortunately change will not be given by the machines, but change will be available from the Visitor Centre next to the main P&D car park at Dartington Hall and at the Craft Gallery at The Shops at Dartington.

Q7. Will cinema and concert goers have to pay to park?
Yes.

Q8. Where will the money from the car parking charges go?
It currently costs in excess of £1 million a year to maintain the estate, which is open to all and free to enjoy and explore. Your parking fee will contribute towards the on-going maintenance of the Dartington Hall Estate’s roads, footpaths, buildings, grounds and gardens.

Q9. What are the alternative travel options?
A public bus (#165) runs from outside the Seven Stars Hotel in Totnes 6 times a day (Mon – Sat) and the frequent X80 route serves the Shops at Dartington. A national cycle route runs past the entrance to the upper and lower entrances to the Dartington estate and bike racks are provided at Dartington Hall and at The Shops at Dartington. An electric charging point will shortly be introduced at the Hall. Dartington Hall is a 30-40 minute walk from Totnes Train station. Taxis cost less than £5 from the Totnes Train Station to Dartington Hall and during the summer months the Totnes Rickshaw Company operates – visit www.totnesrickshaws.co.uk for more information.

Q10. Are there any environmental benefits to the charges?
Dartington has set itself the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2015. To help us achieve our aim we encourage visitors and staff to seek alternatives when getting to the estate – we encourage car sharing, walking, cycling or using public transport to Dartington.

Q11. How will people with disabilities be catered for?
Car parking charges will not apply to drivers displaying a valid Blue Badge. Disabled/dropping off bays at Dartington Hall are available adjacent to the East Wing and the White Hart and allocated spaces are available in the main car park and at Dartington Space. There are also disabled/dropping off bays and allocated spaces at The Shops at Dartington in the first car park.

Q12. Who will be eligible for a parking permit?
1) Guests staying at Dartington Hall
2) Estate Residents (two permits per property)
3) Commercial Tenants until 31st March 2013 (see below)
4) Staff and volunteers from The Dartington Hall Trust

A nominal annual charge of £50 per permit will take effect from 1st April 2013 for commercial tenants. Permit charges will be reviewed annually and any increase will be notified in advance to all commercial tenants.

Q13. Are parking permits available for visitors?
In response to visitor feedback, we intend to introduce paid parking permits for frequent visitors to the estate in autumn 2012. Details for this are not yet confirmed, however if you would like to be informed with details of this scheme please email parking@dartington.org with your name and contact details.

Q14. Where will permit holders be able to park?
Guests staying at Dartington Hall:
Guests staying at Dartington Hall will check in at the East Wing where there will be a ‘drop off’ zone. Guests will then be issued a permit and can park their cars in the ‘permit parking area’, currently the Overflow car park.

Residential Tenants on Dartington Hall Estate:
Tenants can park within the area(s) designated by their lease. Any other vehicles will have to be parked in a P&D car park and the appropriate fee paid.

Commercial Tenants on Dartington Hall Estate:
Commercial tenants will be issued with a permit, valid until 31st March 2013*, which will allow them to park in the current Overflow car park, signed ‘permit parking’. Any visitors or clients will need to be directed to the P&D car parks.

A nominal annual charge of £50 per permit will take effect from 1st April 2013 for commercial tenants. Permit charges will be reviewed annually and any increase will be notified in advance to all commercial tenants.

Dartington Staff and Volunteers:
All staff and volunteers at Dartington will have to park in the current Overflow car park, which will be signed ‘permit parking’, leaving the main car park free for visitors.

The Shops at Dartington Staff and Volunteers:
All staff and volunteers at The Shops at Dartington will have to park in the extended Overflow car park, which will be signed ‘permit parking’, leaving the main car parks free for visitors.

Q15. Will permit holders be able to park in any car park?
No – permit holders will be asked to park in designated car parks signed ‘permit parking’. These can be found behind the Visitor Centre, at Schumacher College and at Aller Park (mixed premit parking and Pay & Display).

Comments


Posted by: Ed on Sep 11, 2012:

Whilst many communities are up in arms with car park charging, it is a great disappointment that you have gone down this route. I understand that trying to generate revenue for the estate is a must, but short sited thinking can totally ruin the pleasure of the visitors. One issue which will occur will be annoyance parking which I noticed on Saturday, where an over excess of cars were parked on the entrance to the estate obviously trying to avoid the charges! Roads around the estate will start to get clogged up and more complaints will arise. Now as winter months are coming I expect to see a reduction on last years revenue, as the locals who enjoy walking and stopping off for a drink or something to eat will go else where.


Posted by: C Gale on Sep 11, 2012:

Whilst I understand the desire to raise funds to support the Dartington Trust, I think the parking charges (and constant presences of parking officers) has really disadvantaged the children attending Dartington Primary School. The 15 minute free parking allowance does not allow time to pick up more than one child (pick up times vary by 15 minutes) or to ensure that parents can settle their children in class. Even more disheartening that the shops are not even open at 8.45am so we know we are not affecting the customers at the shops by briefly using the car park in the mornings. An extension of the free time to 30 minutes or 1 hour would be much appreciated. It would allow people to continue enjoying Dartington, using the shops and would be of great help to the school community.


Posted by: rod on Sep 10, 2012:

We will use our feet to reflect your new parking policy, you have just lost two regular visitors to your cinema and restaurant. The imposition of car parking charges is a straw too far!!
Charging for parking in a remote location like Dartington is like a restaurant charging to hire the plate the meal is served on.
Our weekly outing will move to an alternative venue – your loss – estimated over 12 months, £3,000/£4,000. It’s easy, you choose to charge, we choose to go elsewhere, and fortunately we have a multitude of alternatives that welcome our custom.


Posted by: Ann and John on Sep 8, 2012:

We have lived in Totnes for over 24 years and in that time enjoyed the many delights and opportunities that Dartington offers, arts, shopping and most of all the chance to walk through the beautiful estate. However since the parking charges have been introduced, and yes I know 30 pence an hour is an affordable amount,we have not been anywhere near the estate at all, no coffee, no cinema, no meals and worst of no walking! We often would come in the evening when the Dartington shops were closed and walk on the estate, we are not doing that now. Why charge in the evening in that car park when there are no shops open? We are sure there are many, many others who feel like we do. We read that you are thinking of introducing an annual permit which if a reasonable price would make it much more acceptable, especially for the many local people who use the facilities all year round. However we have to close with the final comment “What on earth would the Elmhursts have thought about this action, which puts commerce over community!”


Posted by: s h goode on Aug 28, 2012:

I am appalled that car parking charges in the evening will make my weekly visit to Dartington Community Choir rehearsal very fraught. There are 160 members of our choir all arriving at the same time, the thought that after desparately trying to find a space we will all be queuing (probably in the rain in the dark)to pay at the machines is making me wonder if I shall bother any more. It is not so much the cost as the hassle.

Hi Sue, perhaps you would be interested in the annual permit scheme we are developing. If so there's a short questionnaire which we'd be very grateful if you could complete to help us shape the scheme at surveymonkey.com/s/parking-survey
Kind regards,
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: S.Farrow-Jones on Aug 21, 2012:

I am a printmaker using the facilities at the printmaking workshop. The rents have just gone up & this has been passed on to us in the fees we pay. I am now retired & already struggle to pay the increased fees. Having to add parking charges to this amount will mean I will not be able to afford to continue. I have worked all my life enabling others & waiting for a time I could do my own work. I am devastated at this unfair charge.

Thanks for your comment Sue. We are working to offer a more convenient arrangement for people attending regular classes and will be in touch with you shortly with more information
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Hugh Walker on Aug 18, 2012:

30p an hour and you lot are whingeing?
Try parking in Guildford or Woking.

Maybe a “Friend” of Dartington could regard their parking charges as part of their (financial) support.

An alternative would have been for Dartington (and The Summer School) to have closed FOREVER when the college moved.

Perchance the college moved without consulting the populace?


Posted by: Ben Bennett on Aug 15, 2012:

Perverse how the Dartington policy of ‘inclusion’ is actually beginning to exclude.

Take our experience of late, arrived for coffee and Sasha’s lovely cheese scones at Cranks only to be told we have to pay to enter as it coincided with a food festival, one wasted journey. On another occasion, we went to the White Hart for a drink and bar meal to be instructed that the chef only does mains but we could walk over to the barn theatre coffee house, queue there for a sandwich, carry it back and queue again for a drink! I tried to raise my concerns in person but to no avail, in fact the office later declared no recollection of my visit. Subsequently ‘tweeted’ but realised the slick ‘Comms Team’ were diverting me to email to restrict my internet exposure.

We understand the responsibilities & costs of running a large estate and over many years we have purchased both small and big ticket items (we know Marianne de Trey). I have no objection to the magpie taking my silver coin placed on Buddah’s head by the twelve apostles but a Chief Executive with an expanding PR/Comms team taking my silver is questionable. Dangers here are killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Our counter-strategy? We are of modest means and my wife is recovering from major brain surgery so our plan is to park in the public car park by Meadowbrook, stroll up to the walled garden to enjoy the peace with a picnic prepared at home! For many years we have strolled the gardens in quiet contemplation, practised T’ai Chi and meditated in the Zen Garden.
Dartington is a spiritual place – parking meters are most certainly not.


Posted by: Robert Pallister on Aug 14, 2012:

There is no longer a warm welcome at Dartington I am afraid. Car parking charges deliver a message that one is only welcome if you pay. Of course walking and cycling is to be encouraged but is not possible if one is 75 years old and lives 10 miles away. While it is impossible to dispute the need for any charity to cover its costs it is a very different message when that charity seems only to care about money and shows disdain for those unable or unwilling to pay. In recent years, under the current CEO, Dartington has become money obsessed and spiritually bereft. Your Annual Accounts identify that the CEO costs the charity more than £100,000 per annum. I would respectfully suggest that this does not represent good value and that visitors to Dartington, the lifeblood of the place, are being forced to pay the cost. Finally, I would like to know how the company administering the scheme are paid and incentivised. Usually this is by their taking a significant cut on the “fines” which frequently leads to enforcement without discretion or grace. If the company are indeed taking a cut of the £60 or £40 then Dartington has,I’m afraid, sold its very soul to the devil

Hi Robert. We are working toward achieving financial sustainability for the Trust for the first time in its 87-year history. This is obviously an important step and one which will safeguard the estate for future generations and enable our programmes to thrive. Part of the programme to realise this has been an effective invest-to-grow strategy to increase our income and we also continue to improve fiscal management. We are aware that the economic environment is difficult for many, which is why parking charges were set at just 30p an hour. Many of the activities on the estate are free and we believe that Dartington remains good value for money.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Andrew on Aug 14, 2012:

I think this decision shows a lack of commercial understanding. One important key to business success is differentiation so instead of introducing parking charges what a more commercially aware organisation would have done was use the free parking as a selling point. One of the stewards at the cinema reported that upon hearing that buying a seat the Barn did not give one free parking a party of four just walked out. As for the potential money raised, an estimate varying as widely as £30,000 to £50,000 suggests that those in responsible for this decision don’t really have much of an idea! Sorry about this – but a very bad move!


Posted by: Ann Berger on Aug 10, 2012:

I live in Exeter and frequently attend the summer school as a day participent . It would not be unreasonable to make an upper limit to charges when someone is parking for over 10 hrs.I appreciate that money needs to be raised but a major appeal of Dartington has been an open , welcoming and creative environment . I believe a little flexibility in this instance would help to keep that spirit alive without forgoing the need to raise funds .
Yours in hope
Ann berger

Hi Ann. We are looking at different schemes for regular visitors to Dartington, including an annual permit scheme and discounted pre-payment for course attendees. Once confirmed, details of these schemes will be posted here.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Amanda on Aug 2, 2012:

I called in at the Cider Press today, saw that car parking charges had been introduced and drove straight out again. The shops lost out on my custom today and will in the future.The introduction of car parking charges in my view is short sighted.

Thanks for your email Amanda. Please note that parking fees at the Shops are refunded on all purchases over £10 (excluding purchases at the cafes, Haven Spa and Dynamic Adventures).
Katrina Hurford, PR & Communications Officer


Posted by: Christian on Aug 2, 2012:

The primary reason given for this change is stated to be the £1m running cost of the estate. It states below that £30k – £50k will be raised by charging the public. Thats at best a 20th of the £1m figure. Very small beer.
Compare this to the £400k – £460k in emoluments taken by just 6 (yes – 6!) members of staff at Dartington (as shown in the 2011 accounts – link given in a reply below). Nearly half!
Is it any wonder the public are exasperated when the decision was almost certainly taken by some of these 6 staff members, who clearly won’t need to worry about parking charges with such generous remunerations.
I’m certain it will backfire, visitor numbers will plummet and Dartington will have to revert to the attractive, free to visit beauty spot it once was.
I feel this is an extremely short-sighted and regressive move that will be rued in 12 months time.

Hi Christian. All our salaries are benchmarked against regional standards by an independent specialist to ensure our salary structure is consistent and our salaries are fair and appropriate. We will of course monitor visitor numbers and the impact parking charges on our activities over the coming months.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: David on Jul 31, 2012:

We are locals and very much enjoy coming to Dartington on a regular basis, however, the introduction of parking charges mean we will not be comming so often (or at all). If we do we will limit our stay, not have a meal, will not spend much in the shops, go to the cinema or enjoy the walks. Our visit today was a disappointment and we did not spend as much as we normally do. I feel your decision is shortsighted and the retailers will obviously feel the less spend of visitors and locals (locals come all year round). Trade will suffer has it as in the countrys high streets, i feel the emphasis should be encouraging not discouraging people.

Thanks for your feedback David. We are looking at introducing an annual permit scheme for regular visitors to Dartington. It may also be useful to know that parking fees will be refunded with purchases over £10 at the Shops (excluding the cafes, Haven Spa and Dynamic Adventure). Once confirmed, details of these schemes will be posted here.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Tricia Stokes on Jul 26, 2012:

I expect this is already part of your thinking, but I should like to know your plans for parking charges when people attend full day events, eg workshops,Summer Music School,Ways With Words,especially those with 10 day,5 day, weekend Rover tickets, when as much as 130 hours of parking may be required.
Yours,
Tricia

Hi Tricia, we are intending to introduce annual permits in the autumn.
Katrina Hurford, PR & Communications Officer


Posted by: D. Mills on Jul 25, 2012:

I completely agree with the positive comments so far. I was at Dartington Hall recently, and I was pleasantly reminded of how beautiful it is. The negativity and backlash against the parking charges at Dartington, are somewhat selfish and greedy. Dartington is a charity, and one under scrutiny for asking the minimum in return for all the many years their doors have been open to the public for free.
The Elmhirsts (not Elmhursts) may well be in support of whatever needed to be done, during the current financial crisis in which the majority of us reside, to ensure the doors of Dartington remain open for all to enjoy. Even if it meant the principles of the Elmhirst Trust had to change accordingly to present day.

I am not going to allow a small 30p an hour stop me from enjoying trips to the cinema, events and walks around the garden.

Maybe the reason the charges had not come sooner is because the Trust were trying to increase revenue another way, and simply cannot avoid the pay and display?

15 minutes is a generous window of time given that the Trust needn’t allow nor are they obligated to give any time at all. If parents want to “endanger the lives of children” by parking on the main road instead of taking advantage of the 15 minute window, that is their choice, and it is quite ridiculous to pass the blame onto the Trust.

Many thanks for your feedback and support.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Dolly Ashton on Jul 22, 2012:

My family and I are frequent vistors to Dartington Hall, White Hart ,Cinema, Cider Press, events and also to walk and enjoy the grounds. I attend a weekly class at the Space which will add an extra 60p a week to the cost of the course and more if I stay for a coffee. As a pensioner I know that our visits to Dartington will be curtailed in the future.I agree with others that these charges go against the principles of the Elmhurst Trust.I am sure other means of increasing revenue could have been found.


Posted by: Sarah Whittle on Jul 19, 2012:

My family and I have been coming to Dartington for many years and we offer our support in this change. It is one of the treasures we take pride in having so close to our home. When we have guests staying with us we always take them to Dartington. And we will continue to do so regardless of recent changes. The parking charges have thus far received much negative feedback, and although it would have been nice to avoid such measures indefinitely, I can understand why it has been done. Given the economic state of the country, unless you walk or cycle, you are rarely able to park for free and use amenities close by.

Thanks for your support Sarah.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Heather Shepherd on Jul 19, 2012:

Both my children go to Dartington Primary School and i have to use my car to get there. I agree 15mins is NOT long enough therefore i will be forced to park on the main roads around the school. I am saddened as this will make the roads extremely dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Is 30-50K per year really worth endangering lives and causing so much upset to the local community. I will not be using the local shops/cafe from now on. Also i suggest you extending the free parking to 30mins to make it SAFE during school drop off/pickup time, as i would not buy a permit even if it was available.


Posted by: t o'connell on Jul 18, 2012:

Will these charges actually raise money? I am a parent as the Dartington Primary School and find it very sad that we only have 15 minutes, surely 30 minutes would have been better. It really is too short. Such a shame.
As such I won’t be visiting the shops and cafes.

Thanks for your comments. We expect to raise £30K to £50K per year through the charges. We are looking at the possibility of introducing permits for regular users - for example parents of children at the school - to address the issue of people needing more than 15 minutes to drop off / collect children.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: neil kelly on Jul 16, 2012:

This is outrageous and goes against the very spirit of what the Elmhursts intended.

The Trust has been mismanaged for several years now and it is time those responsible were shown the door.


Posted by: Peter Ferguson on Jul 15, 2012:

This is wrong and totally against the spirit behind the setting up of the estate by the Elmhirst family. As I understand it they wished Dartington Hall and its grounds/ facilities to be enjoyed by the people of Dartington. Parking charges create an obstacle to that enjoyment and herald the doom of what has been something wonderful.
On a practical note the public roads around Dartington are going to become increasinly dangerous as members of the public seek parking places that do not involve charges. On whose consience will the first accident so caused be?

Thanks for your comments. To keep the estate open for people to enjoy we need to raise funds to maintain it - parking fees are one of the many ways we are doing this. We encourage people who live locally to walk, cycle, catch the bus, or car share where possible.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Philip R Buttall on Jul 14, 2012:

As someone who already comes from Plymouth to review musical events, I am unhappy that charges have been introduced. Whether or not I am fortunate in perhaps being able to claim this additional expense back, still someone is going to pay for this, at the end of the day.

It would not be quite as bad if the charging period went to 10.00pm, rather than 11.00pm. Many musical events, starting at the regular time of 7.30pm may go on to 10, or just after. This still means that car parking needs to be bought right up to 11pm. Given that I, for one, ensure that I am always on site before 7pm, and to drop off my 92-year-old father, before seeking someone to park, which would involve him in far too long a trek, while I could sit in the car, wherever it is parked, and wait, say, until 7pm before initiating payment (assuming no attendant is there), my father will either have to stand out in the cold, or walk, unaccompanied to the Main Hall.

Of course, the charge of 30p per hour is ‘interesting’! In one respect it can hardly make any dent in the £1 million pounds mentioned, especially given that presumably attendants have now to be employed to police the car parks, and all the car parks will have to have expensive ticket machines which, if anything like those in the Guildhall car park in Plymouth, inevitably go wrong, or won’t accept some coins. But, the 30p, once in place, and once obviously realised to be a drop in the ocean when considered against the costs it’s supposed to allay, will soon rise steeply!

I’m afraid it’s just one more nail in the coffin of most of the kinds of music that Dartington was great in promoting. On principle, I shall now think more carefully about those events I do decide to come up and review, which is a shame, and has taken the edge off thing for us, even though I am in the somewhat advantageous position of reviewing such events for the Plymouth Herald and Music Web International.

I complained to Plymouth City Council because the cost of parking at the Guildhall (where most concerts are given, or at the adjacent St Andrew’s Church) was excessively high, and people were telling me that they were not willing to support events, when they had to add in some £4+ for parking. The council actually dropped the rate to £3.60, but it is a factor. Once the rot sets in, though…………..


Posted by: Sue Labb on Jul 13, 2012:

We won’t be visiting Dartington Hall nor the Cider Press any more if you’re charging for parking – even your so called “low charge” of 30p. There are plenty of other more lovely places to go for free. And this means you will lose the revenue from our previously frequent dining and shopping on the estate. The law of the jungle always comes back to bite you.


Posted by: Pete Coleman on Jul 13, 2012:

This is going to seriously affect the Dartington School community. If the 15 minutes free parking at Cider Press is supposed to allow parents to pick-up and drop-off, then it is woefully misjudged.

The 15 minutes free is no help in the following common circumstances:

- Parents with 2 or more children whose classes start or finish at different times from each other – parents from a little further afield who usually arrive 5-10 mins early to allow for occasional traffic delays – parents of young children who may need 5-10 minutes ‘settling-in’ time with their parents in the mornings.

In all of these circumstances, parents will need to pay the parking charge, which for some will be 60p per day, £3 per week, £123 per annum (term time only). This is of course extortionate, not to mention the stress of having to have the right change up to 10 times a week, and find a working machine when the nearest one is broken.

Further, even those parents who can usually drop off or pick-up within 15 minutes are going to have a really hard time because even on a good day, it is really tight. At pick-up time in particular, 15 minutes is often insufficient, but the cruel twist is that we never know in advance whether we’re going to need more than 15 minutes or not. Looking for kids’ lost clothing, lost lunch boxes, chats with teachers, chats with other parents are all part of school life at pick-up time, but parents cannot predict in advance which days these will be necessary, and which days they will not.

Parents are therefore faced with a hobson’s choice of taking a risk with running over, with resulting stress, or buying the tickets everyday with it’s own stress over change and broken machines, and costs quickly becoming extortionate over the course of a year. Stress and risk of fines, or stress and expense; fewer parents having time to get to know each other at pick-up times, no time to talk to teachers – in short, damage to the school community.

I understand the need to raise money, and also that from the Trust’s perspective, allowing Cider Press to be used for school parking is a favour, but the current proposals are going to play out very cruelly for parents. It needn’t be like this. I believe a different system can take account of the reality of life around the school community.

For instance, a ‘parents permit’ that is valid between certain times in term-time only (8.30 to 9.15am and 2.45 to 3.30pm) and that is affordable eg maximum £1 per week (free for parents whose kids are on free school meals). This would give parents an option to remove the whole stress factor should they choose, and it might even increase total income to the Trust over and above the current proposals.

Or, even better from our perspective, increase the 15 mins to 30 mins.

Hi Pete, thanks for your comments. We will work with the school to try and address the issues before the new term begins.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: M.Woodward on Jul 13, 2012:

My son has been attending the summer school as a day attendee for some years. He has progressed hugely in ability and has gained confidence as a result of the experience and teaching from all the eminent musicians. The camaraderie, performance ,concert attendance etc had been hugely beneficial to him.
He lives locally and does not need accommodation but it would appear that he will now be required to pay for parking for the entire time he at the school,for workshops,concerts etc
He is not well off- as an amateur musician he now struggles to pay the fees for the school – but in addition he will now be penalised by having to pay for his parking at an hourly rate – amounting to about £5 daily. He cannot cycle as he needs to be able to transport his musical instrument – a lute. For him – an end of an era =it seems he will not be able to afford to attend this summer.
Has the Trust actually considered the effect that the parking charge will have on local people particularly in the current economic climate -after all they are the very people who provide most support for the activities/shops/dining etc. For example -What about the effect on the restaurants at the Cider press centre – will we see the demise of our beloved ‘Cranks’ – the last remaining of the wonderful veggie restaurant chain.
Surely common sense will prevail and a donation from each visitor for parking (suggest £1) would not be viewed with such animosity as this parking scheme has produced.This could still be monitored by the parking company
Alternatively,why not take a leaf out of the National Trusts scheme- an honesty box at the entrance to each car park – with an explanation of the necessity to raise funds for the upkeep of the estate/roads etc. this would save the huge cost of setting up the parking scheme and the cost of monitoring it .
I believe that the type of visitor to the Dartington estate is open, honest and educated and should be treated as such.
We come to the estate to enjoy ,relax and gain knowledge not to experience the stress of ‘clockwatching’ which is the experience in so many areas nowadays. Please reconsider this ill conceived idea asap before the meters are installed!

Many thanks for taking the time to come out to our Parking Drop-in Session this week and sharing your concerns. We hope your points were addressed.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Dr Jonathan Beaumont on Jul 13, 2012:

1 – charging for car parking is against the principles of the Elmhirst Trust.
2 – the title deeds of the land containing the car parks make it unlikely that the charges can be enforced.
3 – who will administer the charging? – Experience elsewhere (eg Totnes Station – Apcoa) is not good.
4 – why can the price not be added to the ticket prices at The Barn Cinema etc – a must less stressful method of paying?
5 – is the whole of Dartington Hall and the Cider Press Centre going to become a large commercial operation – and if so are the Charity Commission and HMRC in accordance?

1 - Car parking fees do not go against the principles of The Dartington Hall Trust. Responsibility for the maintenance and preservation of the land and buildings on the estate is one of our charitable activities and we do this to maintain public access and preserve it for future generations. Charities are entitled to raise money to support the charity's “proper purpose”. (For clarification, we are not responsible for the Elmhirst Trust which is based in Yorkshire).

2 - This is incorrect.

3 - We are working with a company called Total Parking Solutions, adherents to the British Parking Association (BPA) code of conduct.

4 - It is possible to prepay for parking online and to pay via phone and text. We are also looking at introducing other ways to prepay such as annual or monthly tickets so that regular visitors will have a straightforward way of paying to park without having to find change for a meter. Introducing fees allows us to raise money toward the maintenance of the estate while also better managing parking on the estate and encouraging greener travel.

5 - Both Dartington Hall and The Shops at Dartington are managed by subsidiary companies which are owned by The Dartington Hall Trust. The Charity Commission and HMRC are fully aware of The Dartington Hall Trust’s corporate structure and it is accepted practice for charities to own trading subsidiaries run separately to the charity which gift all their profits to the charity . These arrangements are no different to many other charities who trade to raise the funds they need rather than relying on fundraising alone, for example, Oxfam and the National Trust.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Amanda Tyson on Jul 12, 2012:

Like all other writers here I am dismayed about the introduction of charges for parking. I feel that it will penalise those of us who are frequent visitors. It will add an extra charge to every cup of coffee or tea and make me think twice about coming to the shops at all.

You have fixed the cost at 30p per hour, which sounds reasonable now, but bearing in mind that you have already altered your decision on pricing without any consultation with users, how long before the cost is increased? 30p seems inadequate to pay for the policing of the scheme, let alone to raise any additional revenue so I cannnot help but think that this price will not obtain for long before it is increased to a more profitable amount. Can you assure me that there are no plans to increase the amount charged?

Like others I would ask about the possibility of a period pass, monthly, half-yearly or otherwise. This might make casual, spur-of-the-moment visits more likely. Until then I will probably park in Totnes, where there is a wider range of retail shops and cafes and restaurants. This will be a loss for the Cider Press Centre shops and cafes since I know I will not be alone in this.

I note that there will be a refund scheme for those spending a large amount of money at the Cider Press shops, perhaps this could also apply to those buying concert or film tickets, since it will increas the price of these for every visit.

I would be interested to know how the costing for this development was investigated. Since your initial charge would have been 90p per hour and is now, apparently arbitrarily, set at 30p I wonder how much research has been carried out on the actual income this will generate as profit. As I have said above the current price seems too low to cover the initial installation of hardware as well as the patrolling and policing of the car-parks which will be involved.

Altogether this scheme seems to be somewhat ill-though-out, and will antagonise regular patrons whilst failing to generate much income from tourists and visitors to the area.

Hello Amanda, at the moment there are no plans to increase the hourly charge. Budgeting and management of the scheme has all been worked out by a team including our finance director and has involved considerable research and benchmarking but we appreciate that there will inevitably be issues so we will review how it is all working after a few months. We expect to raise between £30k and £50k/annum from car parking after costs. Our capital outlay will be repaid within 18 months. As mentioned we will be looking at annual / regular parking passes and how we manage them and we will update on this as soon as we can.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Carol Eyden on Jul 12, 2012:

I have yet to see a comment agreeing with these charges. As a pensioner and a visitor to Dartington Hall and also the Cider Press Centre for many years I cannot help noting how things have gone downhill recently. The shops in particular have had a change for the worse. I really miss Bazaar and its lovely affordable bits and bobs. Kate and her lovely jewellery have gone and it’s all change around the shops. It seems that on every visit lately everything has been altered again. Is there a new person in charge perhaps? If so, I think that there should be a realisation that we are in Devon, not London and some things should stay put for local people as well as visitors. Dartington will NEVER make money whilst it is being run as it is. I am very disappointed and I have spoken to others who feel the same. There is no incentive to visit any longer. It’s a tragedy.

Thank you for your comments and we are sorry that you do not like the changes made at The Shops. Reversing several years of declining sales has meant that change was necessary in order that The Shops at Dartington survive. Achieving this has not been easy and we understand that the changes may not suit all our loyal customers, but the results have proven to be very successful, especially given the current retail economy. Although Kate Higham has expanded into her new shop, we still sell much of her work in the fashion gallery and would be happy to special order anything that we may not have in stock. The Bazaar is still available on the ground floor of the Stationery building and as always, the selection changes with the seasons.
We hope that you will return and look forward to your visit.
Barbara King, Managing Director of The Shops at Dartington


Posted by: Sally Willow on Jul 12, 2012:

In view of your decision will you provide more bycicle stands please.

Hi Sally As I'm sure you know, we currently have bike racks at the Shops, in the main estate car park and behind the East Wing. We will monitor whether usage of the racks increases in response to the charges and whether more racks are needed over the coming months.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Dave Whatman on Jul 11, 2012:

My wife and I moved to devon in 1978 and have been visiting the centre on a regular basis for many of those years. On average we visit now every two months which is usually when when we bring visitors, or meeet friends for lunch and maybe purchase something. Our average spend in the restuarant is £50-£70 with 4 people.
Your decision to introduce parking charges is understandable, but your rules on customers qualifying for a parking charge refund are shortsighted, and gives no consideration to the great fuel costs to visit dartington for a lot of people. Refusing to refund parking fees just for those who especially come to just dine find extremely mean spirited and spiteful.
Our dining club friends are equally disappointed with your decision and we have agreed that we will not be visiting again. We all make a choice to visit you, so it might be prudent to regard your dining visitors as ‘valued customers’ and not as ‘cash cows’ which it is what it feels like.
Yours faithfully
Dave Whatman

Thank you for sharing this Dave and for the support you have given to Dartington through your frequent visits over many years. I am sorry that the costs of parking will prevent you from visiting Dartington and dining at the White Hart in the future. As outlined below, the reason the charges are being introduced is to raise funds towards maintenance of the estate, as part of our drive to become financially sustainable in the long term, so that people now and in the future can enjoy the estate. We believe the charge of 30p per hour is reasonable but accept that it is not going to be popular with some of our customers. I will pass your comments about refunds to our management team as we will be reviewing the arrangements after the scheme has been implemented.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Malcolm Scoble on Jul 11, 2012:

I can understand the need to raise revenue, but the comment by JR suggesting an increased Membership charge to cover parking would resolve one of the two main objections expressed in many of the posts (the other being the actual cost). You would almost certainly win back much support from many, perhaps most, Members if you at least made life simpler for them and made them feel a part of Dartington instead of alienating them. Not everyone finds using mobile phones for parking straightforward (and systems fail all too often): indeed not everyone has a mobile phone. Furthermore, hoping one has the right change for the machines and can anticipate accurately the amount of time one wishes to spend on the Estate ups the hassle factor. I’d suggest you look into offering an increased membership to cover annual parking charges now instead of saying that you are not considering offering, say, an annual pass at present. Why not? Give reasons. It can’t be that difficult to add a charge to Membership.

Thank you for your suggestion Malcolm. We have had similar feedback from several members and supported so I'd like to assure you that we will look into annual passes and how we could make this work and will update you on this as soon as we can.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Roger Hill on Jul 10, 2012:

I hope that, taking into account the 100% negative reaction to the proposed charges, you will have the courage to accept that you have got it wrong and change the scheme before it is too late, and before you have to face the fury of the Summer School participants who have presumably not been told about what you plan to charge them.
You might get away with a flat charge of £2.00 for a 9 to 6 day (15 minutes free to drop off and pick up), and a £20 annual fee for regular visitors, but more than that can surely only result in a very substantial reduction in attendance at all of Dartington’s events.

Thanks for your comments. As mentioned in other responses below we will certainly be monitoring visitor numbers over the coming months in response to the changes. Summer School participants have all been informed about the change - residential participants are issued with permits and many of them already choose to travel to Dartington by train.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: J Watt on Jul 10, 2012:

Hello, as a dartington member, I would like to suggest that some of the income from parking is devoted to developing a pedestrian/cycle path along Cott Road/Long cause, some of which borders DHT property, as it is currently a nightmare for both pedestrians and cyclists and in winter puts lives at risk. Many thanks.

Thanks for your suggestion which I will pass onto our property team.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: John Risdon on Jun 24, 2012:

I appreciate the need to make ends meet regarding the running of Dartington. However, I totally endorse the majority of comments already posted. Dartington has played an immensley important part of my last 65 years of life in all manner of ways. I have tried to pay back something of what I have been given by becoming a member of the Trust for the last few years. At least provide a means of raising greater funds in a less stressful way as that proposed is totally against the whole concept of what Dartington stands for. Raise the subscription – yes, but in such a way that you encourage a broader membership. Follow in the footsteps of Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust and include free parking for members, having taken an increased subscription. Do not put up the physical & phycological barriers with no path through. The Elmhirsts created an estate that was open to the Devon community, looking outwards, no barriers; don’t betray them. Be more imaginative and creative as they were.

Many thanks for your feedback and for your crucial support of Dartington thus far John. We understand that this is a difficult decision for many people and it was a decision we thought about long and hard. We have considered similar schemes in our research and believe that this is the best option for us at the present time, however we will of course closely monitor the arrangements and our visitor numbers in the coming months. We hope you will feel able to continue to support and enjoy Dartington.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Michael Elsmere on Jun 23, 2012:

I feel very saddened by this as it confirms a trend that commercial priorities are distorting the original vision. Part of my objection too is the fact that your belief that this step is required is not justified financially in any way. Where can I or any member of the public read the Trust accounts? If I could see for myself that Dartington was really in peril I could perhaps agree with some of the decisions that are being taken. As it is your real fianancial situation remains within the dark shadow side of the Dartington Trust…. or am I missing something?
In an organisation in which ‘Social Justice,’ is supposedly prominent the point made by several correspondents regarding the disproportionate effect of parking charges on the poorer in society should not be discounted although I guess it already has been! This trend toward Dartington moving even further towards being a middle class enclave is obviously being welcomed by management and trustees.Go where the money is never mind these flaky visionaries!

We’re sorry to hear that you feel our financial imperatives are distorting the original vision Michael. Our belief is that the Elmhirsts always intended for Dartington to become financially sustainable while continuing in the vein of the original vision of course, and it is this that we’re working to achieve for the first time. Our accounts are posted in detail online here, or you can view an overview of the 2010/11 accounts as part of our 2011 Annual Review. For Dartington to thrive well into the future we must sometimes make difficult decisions which we know will not always be popular, but we believe this decision is the right one. We will of course closely monitor the parking arrangements and our visitor numbers over the coming months and we hope that by keeping the hourly parking charge low it remains affordable to visit Dartington. Many thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, it’s much appreciated.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Gordon Woodend on Jun 22, 2012:

We do not plan to use the White Hart for lunch and supper when parking charges are introduced We do not normally expect to pay for parking when we pop out for a meal.

Many thanks for your message Gordon. Our intention is that by keeping the hourly rate low at just 30p, attending events and activities on the estate remains affordable while raising funds toward essential maintenance of the estate’s roads, footpaths, buildings, grounds and gardens. We understand and respect your decision, but hope that you will find that Dartington's wider offer of gardens, woodland and riverside walks, heritage buildings, cinema and arts programmes remain good value for money.
Katrina Hurford, Communications Officer


Posted by: Christine Lewry on Jun 15, 2012:

In your planning application, you stated that there was ‘currently’ no plan to charge for evening parking, yet before the scheme has even started, you intend to charge until 11pm. This seems rather disingenuous. When and why was this decision made? I can imagine the fun as people in the audience realise they haven’t fed the meters enough money to cover the length of the concert and start getting phones out to top up or leave early – or just get restless and anxious. As has already been pointed out, hourly charges are not conducive to a relaxing time in the gardens either. And the service is so slow at the White Hart one could easily under-estimate the time needed. Have you considered a (reasonable) flat rate instead of hourly charges?

Does ‘guests staying at Dartington Hall’ include Summer School residents? (And Ways With Words, though I see the parking charges should start after this year’s festival).

As for paying to park at the shops, I can tell you now that this will affect my behaviour. I often have to come to Totnes, and in the past I have usually taken the opportunity to come to Dartington for lunch or coffee and a browse round the shops. I shall not do that any more (unless maybe parking is refunded by the cafes). I certainly wouldn’t want to pay to park in order to look round the expensive shops on the offchance that I might find something I like and can afford.

No doubt you will be monitoring the situation. I’ll be interested to see the results.

Hi Christine Thanks for your comments.

At the time we submitted the planning application the model we were proposing was a higher hourly rate (90p) which would apply during the day but not in the evenings. However, this would have penalised customers who come to our daytime matinee screenings and other daytime events so we decided that a lower hourly rate (just 30p) applied at all times would be a fairer solution.

At this time we’re not proposing a flat daily rate, however customers can of course choose to prepay (by cash or by phone) for a long visit. At 30p per hour, someone spending a whole day at Dartington (9am – 5pm) would pay just £2.40 to park or for a long evening (5pm – 11pm) £1.80 which we believe is very reasonable.

Guests staying at Dartington Hall does cover Summer School and WWW residents staying overnight but not those attending as day delegates.

Thanks for your feedback about parking fees at the Shops – we will indeed monitor the situation over the coming months.

Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Margot Hewspear on Jun 13, 2012:

I’m as dismayed as everyone else – especially as I visit the Estate on an almost daily basis; as well as enjoying the gardens I spend a considerable amount of money at The Shops, Barn and Great Hall events,White Hart etc. Any news following the earlier suggestion of an annual pass?

Thanks for your comments and for your support of Dartington Margot. Whilst we are not planning on introducing an annual pass at this stage, we will certainly note requests and review this at a later date, along with other details of how the scheme is working.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Gary Holland on Jun 12, 2012:

There are numerous comments posted here expressing disappointment and dismay at the introduction of parking charges however these concerns seem to have been completely ignored – so much for the ‘your opinion counts’ approach that the management at Dartington Hall has tried to publicly take.

Has Dartington Hall Trust given ANY consideration to the effect these parking charges will have on the rest of the village? Specifically, users of the cider press centre (aka ‘shops at Dartington’) may choose to park on Cott Road and not pay the 30p/hour charge in the trust’s car parks. This will make it difficult for residents to park their cars ourside their property. We already have parking problems in and around Gidleys Meadow, with commercial businesses ‘allowing’ their users to park freely and inconsiderately, obstructing resident driveways – a fact residents regularly complain to DCC, SHDC and D&C Police about. The trust has made this decision in a commercial vacuum, without any consideration about the immediate vacinity and the needs of residents of Dartington, as a village community.

Thanks for sharing your concerns Gary. I can assure you that the decision has not been made in a vacuum and we are working with Dartington Recreation Association, the schools and others in the village to try and work through any potential parking issues in the village. At the shops we find that often spaces are taken not by customers but by people parking up to walk their dogs nearby or leaving their cars and then walking or car sharing to Totnes train station. I will share your concerns with our property director who is in discussions with the DCA and find out the latest information on how these talks are progressing and let you know.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Sonja Rogerson on Jun 11, 2012:

This is really sad, i know its just the way of the modern world and all, but parking fines are a cruel unofficial tax that primarily punish the poor – personally i’d like to see a means tested sliding scale applied. I avoid towns as far as possible thanks to the ubiquitous application of pay and display. I find wondering how much time i have left on my ticket distracting and unpleasant. Authoritarian Brave New World, hoop jumping that keeps the peasants too nervous to revolt.


Posted by: Mr Nigel Woodward on May 30, 2012:

As a benefactor supporter of Dartington I would like to express my concern about the Car Parking proposals.As the scheme is designed to try and recoup some of the overheads of running the estate I think it is likely to have the opposite effect.The main reason being that so many people will be put off visiting Dartington and its expensive shops that there will be an even greater reduction in revenue to the estate’s businesses than would be gained from this ill thought out scheme.I think there will also be a greater reduction in the donations that dartington desperately needs as I for one will probably not be renewing my membership next year.

Thanks for your comments Nigel and for the support you give us through being a Dartington member. We hope that people will not be put off visiting Dartington by the charges as the hourly rate is low. However, we will certainly be monitoring the funds raised through the charges. I will let our fundraising manager know your concerns – many thanks for sharing them.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Mandy Ellis Voisey on May 28, 2012:

The idea of easy access to the arts and learning is fundamental to Dartington, a “drop in and enjoy” centre for gardens/reading/relaxing/eating and sipping – fees and measuring time go COMPLETELY against the grain. This is a backward step that the Elmhirsts would not have wanted I feel sure….
If you were in the centre of a town then this move would be justified, but most older people can never access the grounds on foot or by bike. Suddenly stress is added – the complete opposite of EVERYTHING that Dartington has stood for all these years. Even the National Trust wouldn’t charge by the hour for their gardens! Worrying about ticket expiry will just turn this paradise into a high street like everywhere else!! It would have been better to add a minimum amount to all tickets, food and films, book lectures and weddings etc…. is it too late to rethink this!!!?

Thank you for your comment Mandy - you raise a really interesting point. The decision to introduce charges has been taken and the charges will come in over the summer however we will continue to review the situation. We will be offering the option to pay via credit or debit card on a mobile phone so there is potential to top up without returning to the car park.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Mr.&;Mrs.CR Welham on May 22, 2012:

I’m appalled at your decision to implement parking fees,especially in these difficult times and I do not accept that your decision has anything to do with being eco-friendly.Please explain how I can use public transport from Strete.This is nothing more than a money making exercise.Please don’t insult our intelligence by pretending otherwise.I use Dartington frequently for the cinema,concerts,Ways with Words,occasional dining and drinking good but over priced coffee in the White Hart.I shall reconsider all these activities if you charge me to park.What about a refund for those who have tickets for events or spent money in the restaurant.How do you propose to enforce these charges?

Thank you for your comments. I absolutely take your point that travelling to Dartington by means other than car is difficult for many people, particularly if you do not live within walking or cycling distance. The main reason for implementing the change is to raise funds towards maintenance of the estate, as outlined above. We realise that the charge means an extra cost for our customers when coming to Dartington but we believe we continue to offer good value and hope that our customers will understand the significant costs associated with running the estate continue to support Dartington.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Mark Jefferys on May 22, 2012:

Would you consider an annual Car park pass for locals?

I’d definitely consider that;

Hi Mark. Thanks for your comment. At the moment we don’t have plans for an annual pass but I will pass your suggestion to our management team.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Gordon Ellis on May 21, 2012:

Very saddened, especially as pensioners frequently visiting the cinema as the most affordable entertainment.
We own a Prius and live in East Allington. Perhaps you could advise on how our travel can be more green. (We could not afford to live in Dartington or Totnes, much though we would love to).
I was at school in Totnes in the mid-sixties and moved down here to live two years ago. Dartington has lost its way, I’m afraid. So much for the inspiration of Tagore! (I was a guest at his centenary celebrations many years ago)Even his name is simply exploited now in a shameful way.

Thank you for your comments. I absolutely take your point that travelling to Dartington by means other than car is difficult for many people, particularly if you do not live within walking or cycling distance. We realise that charges mean an extra cost for our customers but hope people will not be put off visiting Dartington by the low hourly parking rate – 30p - and will consider a car share or using alternative transport when possible. The Shops at Dartington is served by the frequent X80 route (between Torbay via and Plymouth), which stops outside The Shops at Dartington and the Countrybus 165 route serves Dartington Hall from Totnes hourly between 8am and 6pm.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications


Posted by: Josephine Unwin on May 19, 2012:

I believe the introduction of parking charges at the Shops at Dartington and on the estate to be a retrograde move which penalises those on smaller incomes, such as myself. I also think it could undermine the goodwill and loyalty that supporters and frequesnt visitors to Dartington feel towards the place. I know people always resist change and you may feel that this is what the main objection is due to. However, I think a more positive route to increased revenue would be by improved and innovative marketing to inform and draw in a much wider audience and by making them feel welcome rather than installing parking meters. It all adds to the disappointing feeling that Dartington is becoming more and more a commercial institution with less and less emphasis on the community and the arts. Dartington is still a very special place and I have always felt it to be very open for all to enjoy. I have brought my children here throughout the years to enjoy the gardens and events and they now come themselves in their adulthood and will bring their children too. I hope the charges won’t put off too many potential visitors, especially those who find it increasingly hard to afford.

Thanks for your comments and thank you for your support of Dartington. I agree that there is much we can do to improve our marketing and encourage more and more people to visit the estate and this is an important part of our plans for the next year and beyond.

As you can imagine, we have given this matter great consideration as we know that this change will not be popular with some of our customers. However the change will allow us to manage parking on the estate and raise much needed funds towards maintenance of the estate. We believe that keeping the hourly rate low at just 30p means that attending events and activities at Dartington remains affordable and we will monitor our visitor numbers and customer response over the coming months.
Becky Pratchett, Head of Communications

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