Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, one of the South East’s leading visitor attractions and home to the world’s best conifer collection, has appointed Dominic O’Connor Robinson as its new manager. Dominic, who at 25 is Bedgebury’s youngest ever manager, joined the Forestry Commission’s management training programme from Cambridge University in 2009 and has worked across the UK in Wales, Surrey, Bristol and Edinburgh before moving to Kent in May.

“It is an exciting time to be joining the Bedgebury team.” Says Dominic. “We have recently introduced a successful ticketless payment system, completely redeveloped our car park and made improvements to the adventure play and mountain bike trails. The Pinetum’s curatorial staff have also scored several recent successes – notably the refurbishment of our propagation facilities and the first ever germinations of a critically endangered conifer from Vietnam.”

With over a quarter of a million visitors each year, Bedgebury has grown into the most popular centre for outdoor activity in South East England. As well as its sold-out concert weekend, this summer features a major food & drink festival, open air theatre and a variety of ever-popular nature-based children’s activities.

“We are determined not to rest on our laurels.” Continues Dominic. “At a time when money is tight and a healthy lifestyle is important to people, we are keen to provide a physically-active day out in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings at a very affordable price. I see my role as ensuring that Bedgebury continues to be a valuable and much-loved facility for everyone to enjoy.”