Croome guided walks will take in ‘top secret’ airfield of RAF Defford - The Evesham Observer

Croome guided walks will take in ‘top secret’ airfield of RAF Defford

Evesham Editorial 21st May, 2017   0

A GROUP of volunteers at a National Trust site near Pershore are keeping the story of a top secret airfield alive through guided walks.

Visitors to Croome can follow in the footsteps of Second World War personnel on a special RAF Defford walk through its parklands on Sunday, June 4, July 2, August 6, September 2 and October 1, where they will be able to explore key wartime locations.

During the Second World War and the Cold War years that followed, Defford airfield was one of the most secret places in the country and was where the war-winning airborne radar was developed.

In 1941, ‘Capability’ Brown’s landscape was requisitioned by the Government for the building of a large military airfield, which provided accommodation for more than 2,200 service personnel and scientists, as well as 130 aircraft of 25 different types.




After closing in 1958, the hangers and most of the other buildings were sold and demolished for salvage of materials, with only a few of the original buildings remaining – now used as Croome’s visitor centre.

Starting at the RAF Museum, which also houses a Canberra aircraft cockpit section, the two mile walk will highlight where wartime buildings once stood and reveal how past events dramatically altered the landscape.


The route will also highlight a Wellington bomber crash site to the south east corner of the parkland and the return journey will offer panoramic views across the Croome estate.

Nick Hubble, National Trust volunteer and chairman of the Defford Airfield Heritage Group, said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to offer the RAF walks in the beautiful surroundings of Croome.

“Walking the park helps bring to life a short, but extremely important, phase in the history of the estate. RAF Defford and the top secret radar work carried out here is of national significance, so it’s a great privilege to be able to share this fascinating story with our visitors.”

The walks are free run from 11.30am to 1pm.

Croome’s park and lakeside are open from 10am to 5.30pm and Croome Court is open from 11am to 4.30pm every day.

Call the National Trust site on 01905 371006 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome to apply or for more information.

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