UNESCO and ICOMOS recognise benefits of Stonehenge tunnel plans

Visitors walking in the Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire. The landscape is studded with ancient monuments.

Historic England, the National Trust and English Heritage welcome the ICOMOS/UNESCO report [1] which recognises the benefits a tunnel of at least 2.9km could bring to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, if it is designed and delivered well.

The report by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation is the result of an advisory mission to the World Heritage Site in October 2015. The report mirrors the views held jointly by Historic England, the National Trust and English Heritage, in acknowledging that a fully-bored tunnel of at least 2.9km could help to significantly improve the World Heritage Site and that the design and location of all aspects of the road improvement scheme need to be carefully and fully considered [2].

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Citizen science project on BBC Countryfile

Ellie Harrison from BBC Countryfile and Lorraine Munns, a Bournemouth University student who did a research Msc on wood ants and silver studded blue butterflies which was part funded by a Cyril Diver project bursary

This weekend the National Trust’s Cyril Diver Project will feature on BBC1’s Countryfile.

Ellie Harrison, a presenter on the hit BBC show, visited the National Trust’s Purbeck Estate in Dorset earlier this month to learn about the Cyril Diver Project, a ground breaking citizen science project which has seen more than 200 volunteers surveying wildlife and plants on the South Haven Peninsula.

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Enhanced plan to ensure Avebury Solstice remains peaceful

The Stone circle at Avebury.

Partners are working together to do everything they can to help make the Solstice celebrations at Avebury safe for everyone and respectful of the World Heritage Site.

A enhanced plan has been drawn up to look at tackling the growing numbers camping on a byway near Avebury, better enforcement of parking in the village and nearby roads and making Solstice a more peaceful occasion.

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Beacons will light up the sky for The Queen’s 90th Birthday

One of the beacon locations at St Michael's Mount in Cornwall

One of the beacon locations at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall

In celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, beacons will be lit throughout the land at from 7.30 – 8.30pm on Thursday 21st April 2016.

Ten locations at National Trust places are taking part in this important event marking a significant milestone in the Queen’s life. From Glastonbury Tor in Somerset to Chapel Carn Brea in Cornwall, the most southerly location, and from Potter’s Hill at Woolacombe in North Devon to Thorncombe Beacon on the Golden Cap Estate in Dorset, one of the chain of beacon sites along the south coast used to warn of the approach of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

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Tickets on sale for the first South West Outdoor Festival (23-25 September)

A child toasting marshmallows over an open camp fire at Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire.The South West is a mecca for outdoor activities and adventure pursuits, and this year the inaugural South West Outdoor Festival is inviting everyone to come and explore the incredible range of opportunities that are taking place around one unique place: Heddon Valley in Exmoor National Park.

Tickets are now on sale for the festival, run in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor, the National Trust’s official outdoor retailer, which takes place over the weekend of 23–25 September. The event is suitable for everyone from young families to adventurous individuals, with something for all ages and levels of skill, experience and fitness. All that’s needed is a willingness to have a go, try something new or take on a challenge. Alternatively, you can simply soak up the ambience, and enjoy the local food and entertainment.

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Horse power at Tyntesfield

Tuppence the horse logging

A heavy horse has been drafted in to help with the extension of a National Trust woodland play area at Tyntesfield, near Bristol.

The building work has already begun, but Tuppence, a 14 hand Welsh Cob, is due to join the site from Monday 18 April to Wednesday 20 April to help haul timber. The logs she will be moving were felled at Tyntesfield; they measure approximately 28 ft. long and will be used for edging in the play area. Continue reading…

Timbers washed up on beach may be from historic Swash channel wreck

wreck (2)

Stewart Rainbird and Joe Ahvee with the piece of wood, possibly from the Swash Channel wreckage ©National Trust


Timbers found by National Trust rangers on Studland Beach after Storm Katie swept through may be from the wreck of a 17th-century Dutch ship which has excited experts since its discovery in 1990.

The so-called Swash Channel wreck, near the entrance to Poole Harbour, has been described as the most significant maritime archaeology project in Britain since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982.

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Francis Drake warts and all

Painting of Francis Drake at Buckland Abbey

A newly identified painting is thought to be the earliest known portrait of Francis Drake, now on display for first time at his Buckland Abbey home.

The painting, believed to be the earliest likeness of Drake, will be on loan from a private collector, Dirk T. Griffin, for the next 12 months and will be hanging in the Drake Chamber at the National Trust’s Buckland Abbey until early 2017.

Angus Haldane, independent curator and art historian, undertook research in 2014 that led to the discovery that the portrait depicted Sir Francis Drake, by an unknown artist. Mr Haldane suspected it was Drake after noticing physical similarities to other portraits, including his facial warts.

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Natural Flood Management Project finalist in UK River Prize    

oak at tree meadow 4 nov

The National Trust Holnicote Natural Flood Management Project in West Somerset has been selected as a finalist for the River Restoration Centre 2016 UK River Prize, demonstrating a whole river approach to restoration and natural flood management.

The UK River Prize celebrates the achievements of those individuals and organisations working to improve the natural functioning of our rivers and catchments, and recognises the benefits to society of having a healthy natural environment.

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A third more litter on our beaches

Pic by Samantha Cook Photography 15March15.  National Trust The Big Beach Clean Week 2015, at Knoll Beach, Studland, Dorset.Beach litter increased by more than a third in just one year, according to Marine Conservation Society (MCS) figures released today.

Run over one weekend last September, the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean saw thousands of volunteers survey and remove more than 275,000 pieces of litter from 340 beaches in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands. Last year fourteen National Trust beaches took part in the survey in September.

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