Expansion plans for Swaledale visitor centre to be decided

The visitor centre is at Hazel Brow, Low Row.

Proposals aiming to secure the future of a farm visitor centre which became a popular destination for a generation of families visiting and living in the Yorkshire Dales are set to be decided.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee will consider a scheme to bolster the Hazel Brow Visitor Centre business, which has won national awards and Defra Demonstration Farm Status.

The centre in the Low Row conservation area in Swaledale was leased out during the 2014 season, but was closed down by the tenants in January 2015, sparking a legal battle lasting nearly two years.

The proposals, which including creating guest accommodation and a craft barn, would see the centre keep its farming focus, concentration on the natural environment and offering seasonal cultural and craft activities, based on the traditional work undertaken in the farming calendar.

Activities would vary from taking part in routine farming jobs to sheep clipping, cheese making, weaving and foraging for fruits.

However, the application has attracted a number of objections, including claims the diversified venture would lead to late-night disturbances. Another objector stated: “The works to the visitor centre would give it the appearance of a ski lodge and would be inappropriate in this location.”


  1. It was such a shame to lose this place – it was such a great day out for all ages. We do not need any more visitor accommodation in the Dales (the market is already saturated), but we do need great places for families to visit and this was one. A great loss. Had some lovely visits with my nieces.

  2. I have taken all six grandchildren to Faisel Brown over the years. It was a favourite request every summer, ever since it opened. We need such facilities to attract families to see country activities. It would be a great shame for it to close. We have all enjoyed seeing chickens match, lambs being bottle-fed and taking goats for a walk. Collecting eggs was always a great treat. City children need to have these experiences. And to see the animals in their own environment is better than watching TV

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