Behind the scenes at Cotehele

With only 56 sleeps to Christmas, the team at Cotehele are gearing themselves up for the annual creation of the Christmas Garland, a must see in your seasonal calendar.  We thought we would share with you a behind the scenes visit to see all 32,000 flowers drying in the attic ready for adding to the 60 foot garland, one by one!

The garland will be constructed over two weeks from 7th November by a team of staff and volunteers, the completed garland can be seen daily through December, except 25 and 26 December.

Stunning display of flowers drying for the Christmas garland.

Aimee Kingdom & Sophie Littleton with the 30,000 drying flowers at Cotehele

Aimee Kingdom & Sophie Littleton with the 30,000 drying flowers at Cotehele

The gardening team at Cotehele have again had a successful year growing and drying flowers for their annual Christmas garland.

‘We were so lucky with the warm and sunny summer, ‘says Dave Bouch, Cotehele’s Head Gardener, ‘and we’ve really benefitted from it. This year we’ve grown and picked about 32,000 flowers and the drying has been really reliable. It will be satisfying this winter to look up at the colourful garland and reflect what the summer was like.’

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Pantheon takes centre stage in autumn ‘performance’

Pantheon takes centre stage

Autumn may have been slow to arrive but now the landmark Pantheon at Stourhead is being framed in rich autumn colours, and is once more open to visitors after months of vital repairs.

Alan Power, Stourhead’s head gardener, and sometime media star, said: “The garden is showing definite signs of autumn, with strong pockets of colour arriving.

“To really appreciate the change that happens in autumn, you should visit a few times, to experience just how the garden develops throughout the season, and the how the landscape changes.” Continue reading…

Yarn-bombing an apple tree back to life

A 12 foot community yarn-bomb has exploded in the orchard at Killerton National Trust estate near Exeter. Pictured are Joan Tremblett and Renee Harvey both from Exeter. Picture by Steven Haywood

A 12 foot community yarn-bomb has exploded in the orchard at Killerton, near Exeter. The culprits are an army of 50 knitters and pom-pom bombers from across Devon and as far flung as Oregon in the United States.

Their combined efforts have burst Killerton’s retired apple tree back to life by entirely covering it in 400 individually knitted leaves, 50 apple-pompoms and hand-knitted woolly wildlife including game birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, frogs and a swarm of Killerton bees.

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Perry Pear Weekend at Dyrham Park

Harvesting pears at Dyrham Park (c) National Trust

Dyrham Park will be hosting a harvest celebration on 18-19 October. Over the last few weeks the estate has been joined by its visitors in collecting pears from its orchard, so that the fruit can be turned into ‘Dyrham Park Perry’. The celebratory weekend will be the first opportunity to try this year’s batch along with mulled and hot pear juice varieties. Continue reading…

Specialist crane lifts tonne lintels back onto England’s last castle

Pictures By Steven Haywood - 100 tonne Crane at Castle Drogo lifting 1 tonne Lintels into place above a window section of the Castle.

Pictures By Steven Haywood – 100 tonne Crane at Castle Drogo lifting 1 tonne Lintels into place above a window section of the Castle.

Ever since Castle Drogo was built 100 years ago, it has let in the Dartmoor rain. With water pouring in from the roof, walls and windows, by 2012 the situation was critical, and this spectacular granite building could have been lost.

Following a massive appeal, work has begun in earnest on repairing the castle.  Today saw  a specialist 100 tonne crane arrive at the property to lift a series of granite lintels, each weighing little over 1 tonne, as well as a large oak beam back onto the roof structure.

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Paradise at Tyntesfield and Leigh Woods

The Green Room (c) Paul Blakemore

The Green Room (c) Paul Blakemore

As part of PARADISE, the contemporary art exhibition at Tyntesfield and Leigh Woods, an exciting and diverse programme of events, talks and workshops delivered by national and international artists has been planned this autumn. These include: experiments with compost and gold leaf, family play weekends and discussions exploring the design of our environment. Continue reading…

Badger vaccination project at Killerton


Badger vaccination project at Killerton Estate, Devon (video)

In 2011, the National Trust began a badger vaccination project at Killerton to demonstrate the practicality of vaccinating Badgers by injection across a large  agricultural estate (20km2) with a high proportion of cattle based enterprises both beef and dairy.  An additional aim was that by 2015 we would have a Badger population at Killerton with substantially reduced levels of TB in what is a significant hotspot for the disease in cattle in the West Country. Continue reading…

Devon’s wild Beavers

The National Trust is aware of the beaver population living of the River Otter, east Devon, and the government’s plans to catch and remove them, re-homing them in captivity elsewhere.

Long-term, we would very much welcome the properly managed and monitored re-introduction of beavers to Britain. The beaver is an important and charismatic species, and could play a vital role in helping manage our rivers and countryside more naturally.

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