Historic Yorkshire attraction flies forward with full fibre connectivity

A Superfast broadband connection has unlocked a wealth of exciting opportunities at a popular Yorkshire visitor attraction.

Thorp Perrow

Thorp Perrow is a 100-acre arboretum and bird of prey centre located in Bedale, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

The estate features an impressive Georgian hall dating back to the early 18th century, and the arboretum, created in 1931 by Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner.

Despite being a leading visitor attraction in North Yorkshire, its rural location meant the Thorp Perrow estate has long suffered with slow and unreliable broadband. Even basic tasks like sending and receiving emails proved difficult.

However, Thorp Perrow is now transforming their visitor experience thanks to a new full fibre internet connection installed by Quickline funded by the Superfast North Yorkshire programme.

The Superfast North Yorkshire programme is a partnership between NYnet, a North Yorkshire Council owned broadband company and Quickline, to deliver high-quality internet access to previously poorly served communities.

Sir Henry Ropner, grandson of arboretum founder Sir Leonard, is the current owner and custodian at Thorp Perrow, together with his wife Natasha and family.

He said: “Being a rural North Yorkshire business, we suffered from the same problem I suspect many rural businesses face – having slow, unreliable broadband.

“The simple fact is we have a business to run here at Thorp Perrow.

“We were desperate to improve our internet across the estate. It is central to the way we run and to some of the systems and software we have at the arboretum. Quite simply, it keeps the show on the road.
“The speeds we were receiving previously were very slow and posed a lot of different problems for us. Basic tasks became a nightmare, and we felt it was holding us back as both a business and an attraction.”
Much of the estate has now been connected to full fibre, with the rollout to wider parts of the arboretum ongoing.

Improved connectivity will enable Thorp Perrow to offer new experiences to visitors, as well as ensuring the smooth and easy operation of the business.

Bird box cameras will soon be installed across the arboretum and the business plans to join NestWatch – which uses cloud technology to record and track trends in bird reproduction and behaviour.

Other improvements include offering WiFi to visitors, which will enhance educational workshops and school visits, and improved digital payment systems at the café and shop.

Thorp Perrow is among the addresses in North Yorkshire that form part of phase four of the Superfast North Yorkshire programme to dramatically improve internet connections.

North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “The need to provide decent broadband connectivity to rural parts of the county has long been an aspiration of ours.

“We want to bring improved connections to all communities, including major attractions such as Thorp Perrow which will benefit visitors to the county as well.

“The fact that it is now becoming a reality will be of a huge benefit to those communities that have been technologically disadvantaged for so long.

“We all know how reliable internet connections are so important for everyday life in the 21st century, and we are committed to ensuring that homes and businesses have access to broadband wherever they are based.”

Quickline chief executive officer Sean Royce said: “We knew fibre broadband could make a real difference to the Thorp Perrow business.

“The deepest rural areas are often those which benefit the most from having a reliable, strong connection.
“The Thorp Perrow estate is a bit different to the location of our typical installations and required a bespoke solution. It was our pleasure to work with the team there to find the right solution that met their needs.

“We look forward to seeing how our broadband helps to take Thorp Perrow’s visitor experience to the next level.”

The bird of prey centre at Thorp Perrow is independently owned and run by falconer Tom Graham and has been involved in a hen harrier reintroduction programme with previously extinct species in mainland Britain return and nest.

Superfast broadband will support the programme via the use of tracking devices and GPS tagging of the birds.

Thorp Perrow Hall has also become an attractive filming location and it is hoped improved connectivity will attract more film companies in the future.

With events held at Thorp Perrow throughout the year – including the popular Dubs in t’Dales gathering of VW camper van fans – strong digital connectivity has become an essential.

Thanks to the new full fibre broadband installed by Quickline and funded by the Superfast North Yorkshire programme, one of Thorp Perrow’s biggest constraints has now become an exciting new opportunity.

• To find out more about Thorp Perrow, visit

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