Hardy returns home

054Image5 Far from the Madding Crowd film still-¬Fox Searchlight

At 34 years old, Thomas Hardy had his first literary success with Far from the Madding Crowd, penned in the tiny cob and thatch cottage in deepest Dorset where he was born. Nearly 150 years on, actress Carey Mulligan’s costumes from the new film adaptation of the book are bringing Hardy’s Cottage to life. Continue reading…

“The coastline is our greatest natural masterpiece”

Alex Raeder, National Trust Natural Environment Lead

Alex Raeder, National Trust Natural Environment Lead

In the second of a series of features about our work caring and protecting 300 miles of South West Coastline, Martin Hesp from the Western Morning News, talks to Alex Raeder the South West Natural Environment lead for the National Trust.

‘You may have thought that having a job as the conservationist in charge of looking after the Westcountry’s wilder, more remote, sections of coast would be an easy, delightful and rather peaceful kind of career option – but nothing could be further from the truth.

There is the management of rare species to think about. There’s the withdrawal of public funding when it comes to programmes that help the environment. There is the balance between visitor numbers and the income stream they can bring. There’s the threat of climate change which some say is already causing coastal erosion.

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The saviour of the North Devon Coast by Julian Gurney

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“Some of my earliest memories revolve around our fantastic and varied coastline; it feels like it is part of me, in my blood as it were. As a boy my Father would take me out in his small fishing boat, we would even sleep on it from time to time which was very exciting and quite an adventure, I remember well falling to sleep with the waves gentle lapping at the sides the boat. I learnt to swim in the sea and vividly remember my Father explaining to my younger sister and I that it was so much easier than swimming in a pool as the salt would help us float, he was right.

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Ewe has five times the charm this Easter

Flora and Verity Sharpe with Arlington's quintuplets

Flora and Verity Sharpe with Arlington’s quintuplets

The team at Arlington Court have just welcome five new lambs to their flock – all from the same ewe.

National Trust Ranger, Murray Sharpe says, “This is the first time in the 15 years I have worked at Arlington that one of our ewes has had five lambs. Despite the eighteen hour days, I always enjoy lambing, but this year it was a real joy to have five healthy lambs born at once.”

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Early memories of day trips to the seaside by Mike Collins

me and gran enjoying a sandcastle building moment

me and gran enjoying a sandcastle building moment

“Recently I came across some photos of me from when I was about three or four years old. Three pictures really stood out and they were all taken on the South Devon coast. They show me with my Mum and Dad and Gran who lived in Exeter – either building sandcastles or going for a little wander.

Many of my earliest memories are from those day trips to the seaside – especially Dawlish Warren and Exmouth. Holding those slightly faded colour photos transports me back thirty years.

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Neptune saved our shores

The view from Wembury Point, near Plymouth, Devon with the Great Mew Stone in the distance.

The view from Wembury Point, near Plymouth, Devon with the Great Mew Stone in the distance.

From urban sprawl to industrial wasteland, what would the coast have looked like without Neptune – would developments now consume the much-loved south west coastline and coal still blacken the breathtaking north east coast?

Fifty years ago, the National Trust launched its ambitious Neptune Coastline Campaign to save unspoilt and threatened coastal places, and now 775 miles of land – nearly a third of the coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – is in safe hands, a free coastal corridor enjoyed by millions.

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533 bags of rubbish collected during National Trust Big Beach Clean Week.

Trenow beach clean with St M Mount behind and flags462 volunteers helped National Trust teams collect a staggering 533 bags of rubbish during the National Trust’s Big Beach Clean Week (15-22 March) in the South West.

The 19 beach cleans kicked off a year-long Coastal Festival of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neptune, a campaign created to help protect our coastline from inappropriate development and care for it for ever and for everyone.

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