Christmas lights up with a new illuminating tradition at Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy Illuminated Christmas lights 2014 -¬ Nick Ashby

For the first time, visitors to Kingston Lacy will be able to enjoy an illuminated Christmas trail as part of a month-long celebration of the season’s traditions. With extended opening hours seven days a week, the team at Kingston Lacy is continuing the spirit of the Bankes family by inviting visitors to explore and create new traditions and memories with friends, family and loved ones. Continue reading…

Can you help tell the story of Allerford Forge?

Allerford Forge Joe Davis, shoeing a horse, 1940

Stories, memories and photographs of one of the oldest businesses on Exmoor are being sought by the National Trust to help illustrate its rich history to visitors.

Allerford Forge – next door to the Allerford Museum – is at the heart of the Holnicote Estate in the Exmoor National Park. The estate is one of the largest to be donated to the National Trust and is home to more than 200 tenants including farms, cottages and commercial businesses – with Allerford Forge being one of the oldest businesses on the estate. Continue reading…

Weeding to the extreme – keeping the castle walls tidy

Gardeners abseiling St Michael's Mount in Cornwall

Gardeners abseiling St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall

Having a head for heights is a pre-requisite for the four strong team of gardeners at St Michaels Mount, located just off the south Cornwall coast.

As part of the work to conserve the 12th Century castle, the granite stone walls need weeding three times each year to ensure the walls are constantly kept clear.

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An army of volunteers at Brean Down

Volunteer army at Brean Down

Conservation work is carried out at Brean Down throughout the year, however this December the National Trust site hosted a volunteer work party with a difference. 93 (North Somerset Yeomanry) Squadron of 39th Signal Regiment worked with the National Trust’s North Somerset rangers to carry out essential maintenance to the Fort at Brean Down, as well as scrub cutting and clearing bramble and hawthorn to improve the flora of the southern rampart of the Iron Age hill fort. Continue reading…

Careful management ensures Christmas symbol continues to thrive

-Work has begun on removing hundreds bunches of one of the traditional symbols of Christmas, mistletoe, at Cotehele , one of the few National Trust locations in the South West where mistletoe is thriving.

Chris Groves, National Trust Orchard Officer at Cotehele explains how the traditional orchard provides a perfect habitat for mistletoe to flourish.  ‘Part of the essential conservation work we carry out at the property involves cutting it back and removing the distinctive mistletoe clumps.  This work helps encourage a healthy growth of both male and female mistletoe and ensures the mistletoe doesn’t overwhelm the trees it’s growing on.

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Tyntesfield aglow for Christmas

Tyntesfield aglow ©National Trust/Barry Batchelor

A new way of lighting the house has been brought to Tyntesfield as a way of creating a warm welcome for Christmas by the National Trust this year.

The centrepiece of a Victorian Christmas celebration, the gothic architecture of the house is being illuminated from within, by lighting up all the rooms in the house. Continue reading…

Horse power at Wellington Monument

Wellington Monument heavy horse - Kate Mobbs-Morgan and horse

Work on National Trust woodlands surrounding Wellington Monument in the Blackdown Hills, will begin with some unusual help using heavy horses to haul timber.

Over the next few years the National Trust are planning to undertake woodland management surrounding the Wellington Monument to help improve the structure and habitat for wildlife. At the same time, there will also be opportunities to open up and improve the views across Taunton Vale to the Brendon and Quantock Hills once again. Continue reading…

Knit yourself a merry little Christmas

Arlington Court's knitted Christmas Tree

Arlington Court’s knitted Christmas Tree

A colourful giant knitted Christmas tree has graced the main staircase hall of Arlington Court in Devon.   Complete with Knitted baubles & presents it was originally knitted in 2005 to raise money for charity. The tree contains the work of over 1000 volunteers from across the world who helped to knit it. The tree has been on display in various other locations, but this is the first time it has been displayed in a historic house.

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