Betteshanger Country Park, part of the wider multi-million pound Betteshanger Sustainable Parks scheme, is located on the site of the former Betteshanger colliery, which has stood derelict since the closure of the colliery in 1989.
Betteshanger Country Park was first established in 2007, when the former slag heap was transformed into a space for people to access and explore the outdoors. The 80 hectare site has been slowly transformed to become a centre for outdoor sporting and adventure activities.
The Park provides access to a variety of environments including woodland, grassland and marshland. It is the most important cycling centre in East Kent, with a 3-kilometre road cycling track providing safe, traffic free road cycling facilities. The track is ideal for families with its safe environment for children to ride and also for serious cyclists where training conditions are ideal.
There is a further 10 kilometres of mountain bike trails, all of varying difficulty, designed to challenge and excite all levels of cyclist.
A range of bicycles and helmets are available for hire.
Other activities at the Country Park include an outdoor playpark, archery, den building, fossiling and geo-caching, plus a range of seasonal events.
Betteshanger Country Park can be easily reached by the A258 and has ample on-site parking. Entrance to the County Park is free. However, there is a charge for parking and special events.
Betteshanger is changing! The new £30 million scheme will include a new Visitor Centre with conference facilities, café/restaurant, green energy centre, cycling centre, outdoor play equipment and the Kent Mining Museum.
Work on the first phase Visitor Centre, encompassing a Green Energy Centre and the Kent Mining Museum has now commenced on site and due for launch in late spring 2017.
The new state-of-the-art facility will be an architectural icon boasting Kent’s best EPC rating and have BREEAM Excellent certification. It will provide retail, cycling facilities, education, conferencing, events, gardens and public spaces, as well as offering an iconic entrance to the 250-acre country park and its exceptional leisure and recreation facilities.
Celebrating East Kent’s mining heritage will be a key focus for the Visitor Centre and wider Park. It will provide opportunities to showcase the unique story of Kent’s mining communities and profile their heritage through a combination of the Museum, heritage trails and on-line mining archive. A Green Energy Centre will make use of solar panels and a CHP biomass boiler to generate clean energy for both the Park and the national grid. Visitors to the Park will be able to see energy production, engage with it and learn from it.
Betteshanger will deliver a unique opportunity for everyone to see how ‘old energy’ can be transformed into ‘new energy’. It will connect people with energy and energy with people.
Watch this space!