The visitor centre at Nant Mawr is being created to provide an inexpensive day out for families.
At the same time we are making sure that the facilities are developed in such a way that they can be used by and worked on by as diverse a selection of people as possible.
Particular emphasis has been given to disabled access with the provision of roads to almost the whole of the site.
The TVLR is a registered charity, the railway line and land purchased in 2004 having been donated to the charity by the original buyers, this historically important railway line (it is the last remaining section of the ‘old Potts’ railway which ran from the Abbey Station in Shrewsbury) was an integral part of the industrial revolution of the area.
Work to assist with developing the visitor centre is already carried out by a number of organisations, Headway, The Pontesbury Project, Opptua, Concorde College, STWA, and RCC. Along with work experience in 2012 from 2 secondary schools.
Visitors to the site have included, The Railway Branch Line Society, The Railway Ramblers, British Red Cross Young carers, Shropshire Autism Group, Flint Heritage Group, North Wales Orchid Society, and Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
Events already held on the site include Birthday parties, 2 x traditional hand fasting weddings, Mayday Festivals, Xmas Specials and this year (2012) we operated a diesel railcar service on the restored track for the first time.
Other attractions include a spiral path to a viewpoint, cliff art, land art project, outdoor staged area for acoustic music/recitations, woodland walks, nature trail, picnic spots etc.
Future projects include the provision of on-site BBQ facilities to encourage people who live in flats or who have restricted access to a garden to visit, the development of an educational facility to be housed in a 40’ portocabin, the creation of an on site artists studio to encourage a diverse selection of local artists to create and display their work, the creation of a museum dedicated to the life and history of the area, and the utilisation of natural resources to provide our own electricity.
Successes so far include:-
* Winning the pride of Shropshire award in 2010 for the best environmental project in the county (this was for our woodland walk and footpath complex)
* Operating a steam engine on a small section of track in 2009, 46 years after the last steam engine saw service and providing the first ever steam passenger service.
* In 2012 providing a diesel railcar service over every weekend in August.
* Playing a major part in the organisation and operation of the national heritage days events in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
We want the site to be used ,worked on, enjoyed and visited by as many people as possible from all walks of life and with as diverse a range of abilities as possible.
We have many ideas for the future, we would welcome your input, ideas and assistance in developing this unique visitor attraction for Shropshire and the surrounding areas.