A sepia image of a messy stone-built courtyard of farm buildings


Explore Calvert Exmoor's rich history, legacy and transformative journey...

The story of Calvert Exmoor

Whilst our doors opened in 1996, our history begins as early as 1978 and is founded in the work and vision of John Fryer-Spedding, who created what was once known as The Calvert Trust. Read on to find out more…

The Calvert Timeline

  • A black and white image of a man in a pinstripe suit. He has slicked back hair and a moustache and is looking at the camera with a serious face.

    Once upon a time…

    In 1951, the Prime Minister at the time, Harold McMillan, proclaimed that the National Parks should be "for all people for all time". However, a man named John Fryer-Spedding knew that this wasn't quite hitting the mark; those with disabilities were missing out on the joys of the great outdoors due to lack of accessible facilities…

  • A close-up of a slate sign reading

    The Calvert Trust

    Enter John Fryer-Spedding, with the help of Elinor, Viscountess Rochdale, who sought out likeminded individuals who shared their vision. It didn't take them long to assemble a cohesive group, making the deliberate decision to formally establish a Trust: The Calvert Trust.

  • A collection of multi-coloured flowers in the foreground, with a lawn stretching to a stone building in the background. The roofing has bright red accents and there are people standing to the right of the main entrance to the building.

    Calvert Lakes

    The Fryer-Spedding family generously donated two farmsteads, Old Windebrowe and Little Crosthwaite, to the Trust. In 1978, Little Crosthwaite Adventure Centre was officially inaugurated in Keswick. This was known for many years as Lake District Calvert Trust, now 'Calvert Lakes'.

  • An aerial image of buildings surrounded by trees

    Calvert Kielder

    Expanding their mission, Calvert Trust Kielder was launched in Northumberland in 1984. Despite having two successful centres in the North of England, there remained a need to provide accessible activities for people in the South of England. Thus, the story of Calvert Exmoor begins…

  • The courtyard in the middle of the accommodation buildings of Calvert Exmoor. There is beautiful foliage such as bushes, plants, flowers and trees in the foreground and in the background, stone built wall and red window frames and door frames of the accommodation buildings.

    Calvert Exmoor

    When a farm next to Wistlandpound Reservoir became available for purchase in the beautiful landscapes of Exmoor National Park, The Calvert Trust had to act fast. An anonymous donation and other incredibly generous gifts allowed this dream to become a reality through the purchase and renovations of the listed farm buildings you can see below.

    Following significant renovations to the farmhouse buildings purchased by Wistlandpound Reservoir, 'Calvert Trust Exmoor' opened its doors in 1996; offering individuals with disabilities in the Southwest, along with their companions, access to outdoor adventures – all within one location.

  • A guest wearing a red and white football shirt is in a wheelchair and smiling with an open mouth towards the camera. He is holding a toy in his hand.

    Separate centres

    Whilst the three Calvert centres were born under the umbrella of The Calvert Trust, these now run as separate businesses with common underlying goals.

  • A photograph of the entrance to Calvert Exmoor's Reception building. The door is a bright red, with a slate sign above it reading


    Calvert Exmoor warmly welcomes thousands of visitors each year, boasting its own Equestrian Centre, indoor and outdoor climbing and abseil walls as well as accommodation for all. In 2012, The Acland Room was opened and inaugurated by HRH Princess Alexandra.