SAY CHEESE. Project team poses for photo to celebrate progress

Robert Woodhead joined the Forestry Commission and the National Forest Company at the Hicks Lodge in Ashby de la Zouch this week to celebrate the project’s progress during a photo call and guided tour.

Despite the weather, the project is progressing nicely with the cycling centre expected to be made watertight by the end of the month, as the last of the larch cladding is placed.

Alan Leather, Funding and Partnerships Officer at the National Forest Company, is delighted with the building’s progress: “The centre is really taking shape and I’m delighted with the progress and professionalism of the team. Robert Woodhead has brought a great deal of expertise to the project.  They have made superb progress on this exemplar eco-build and are helping us to deliver the project to a very tight timescale and within budget.”

The new sustainable cycling centre will include a bike hire and repair workshop, allowing budding cyclists to bring their own bikes or hire one for a fun-filled day out. Children will also be able to learn to ride a bike, practice their off-road skills or even get an introduction to racing, while families enjoy the surfaced trails and explore the attractive woodlands.


Robert Woodhead Contracts Manager, Craig Pygall, said the building will make a fantastic ‘green’ base for a day out in the forest: “During the construction we have worked with Pick Everard to carefully incorporate a range of green technologies from a wood-chip boiler to solar panels and rainwater harvesting, allowing the facility to achieve an excellent status under BREEAM.

“Built with sustainably-sourced timber, its ‘contemporary design, with the use of natural materials, will also complement the woodland surroundings whilst ensuring a legacy of sustainability, making the centre a fantastic green base for a day out in the forest.”

The new cycle centre, cafe and associated trails will open in late March, providing 8 miles of safe off-road cycling for families and beginner cyclists in the heart of The National Forest.

The National Forest Company is working in partnership with the Forestry Commission – the Government department responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain’s forests.

The Forestry Commission, who own and will manage Hicks Lodge, expect the centre to attract 25,000 visitors per year.

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Photo (left to right): Andrew Granger, Leicestershire sub regional fund; Alan Leather, Project Co-ordinator, National Forest Company;  Angela Chamberlain, Chair of Hicks Lodge Trust; Chris Gordon, Chair of 6Cs Green Infrastructure Fund; Joanne Cooper, Mayor of Ashby Woulds Town Council, Rory Clarke, Area Land Agent for Forestry Commission; Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive, National Forest Company.