The Exmoor Trust supports The Calvert Trust because it is of enormous benefit to disabled people within the South West and further afield, as well as their friends and families. It also brings in people from outside the park which in turn supports businesses and the local community.
Founded in 1978, Calvert Trust is the inspiration of John Fryer-Spedding, whose vision was to enable people with disabilities to benefit from outdoor activities in the countryside.
Harold McMillan’s intention in 1951 was that the National Parks would be “for all people for all time.” However, John realised this was not quite true; a lack of accessible facilities restricted less able people from truly enjoying our beautiful countryside and benefiting from outdoor activity.
John Fryer-Spedding, together with Elinor, Viscountess Rochdale and a group of other likeminded people, formed a Trust. The Fryer-Spedding family donated two farmsteads, Old Windebrowe and Little Crosthwaite, to the Trust and in 1978 the Little Crosthwaite Adventure Centre was formally opened in Keswick (now called Lake District Calvert Trust).
In 1984 a second centre, Calvert Trust Kielder, was opened in Northumberland. Now with two centres in the North of England, there was still scope for development so that people from the South of England didn’t have to travel such a distance to enjoy accessible activities – and Calvert Trust Exmoor was born.
After extensive renovation, the centre opened in 1996, offering people in the Southwest with disabilities, together with their friends and families, the chance to achieve their potential through the enjoyment of both outdoor and indoor adventure – all on one site. The centre is built around a Victorian farmstead located on the edge of Wistlandpound Reservoir.
Calvert Trust Exmoor now welcomes thousands of visitors a year, has its own riding school and indoor climbing wall, and caters for groups, families and individuals. Exmoor continues to expand and increase its facilities, and in 2012 HRH Princess Alexandra opened a new building complex, known as the Acland Room, which offers our visitors a quiet space with a fantastic view across Wistlandpound reservoir to the moors beyond.