‘Some might say being paid to love and care for trees and woodlands in the South West sounds like a pretty near perfect job, and I would have to agree with them’, said Ben Norwood, National Trust Trees and Woodlands Advisor.

‘My role as a Trees & Woodlands Advisor does however mean I spend a significant amount of time on the road travelling from place to place, but it does give me time to think and what better time to think about trees than during National Tree Week (25 Nov – 3 Dec).

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Donations promise a nature rich future at Trevose Head

Skylark (Alauda arvensis) singing from a raised clump of Sea thrift (Armeria maritima) on coastal grassland, Trevose Head, Cornwall.

This September marks a year since Trevose Head, on the north Cornish coast was purchased by the National Trust thanks to very generous gifts in Wills and donations, some of which were left specifically for the purchase of this important Cornish headland.

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National Trust opens new room in Avebury Manor and starts refurbishment

Avebury House manager, Amelia Bryan, In Keiller’s Drawing office. (c) National Trust/ Abby George

The National Trust has opened a room in Avebury Manor that until now has been inaccessible to visitors. The refurbishment of the Alexander Keiller drawing office is a new and exciting ongoing project, to bring another aspect of Avebury’s history to life. Continue reading…

Andrew Logan sculpture comes to Buckland Abbey

The Art of Reflection 1 July 2017 – February 2018

An exhibition of contemporary art by the renowned sculptor Andrew Logan will open on

The Art of Reflection, Andrew Logan at Buckland Abbey interprets the history and spirit of the abbey in 18 Logan sculptures, placed in 13 selected locations throughout the house and gardens, including the Great Barn, Kitchen Garden and the historic Cart Pond. The exhibition, one of the largest ever staged by the National Trust in collaboration with one artist, is curated jointly by Buckland Abbey and Andrew Logan, with work selected from five decades of the artist’s career.

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Have archaeologists found a lost mansion of Devon at Killerton?

Archaeologists working with the National Trust’s Killerton estate believe they may have found the location of the lost Killerton mansion that was started in 1775, but never completed.

The lost house was re-discovered almost by accident. Rumours of the mansion, three times bigger than the surviving building at Killerton and more befitting of the Acland family’s wealth and status, have circulated for many years – but no-one has been able to find where the building work was located. All that has remained of the mansion are designs by renowned architect, James Wyatt, a few surviving records and three theories about why it was never completed nearly 240 years ago. Continue reading…

Leading charities call on candidates to step up for nature

 

Large Blue Butterfly ©National Trust Images. Matthew Oates

The National Trust, RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust, who between them have over 1 million members in the South West, are calling for prospective general election candidates to help give wildlife a safer future and put the natural world at the forefront of their campaign.

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Edwardian engine runs for the first time in 100 years

Engine awaiting restoration, Brownsea Island (c)National Trust/Phil Pickering

An exceptional example of British Edwardian engineering has been brought back to working order by a team of highly skilled and dedicated volunteers, working with the National Trust at Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset. The engine dates back from around 1907 and it is thought to be the only one of its kind to remain in its original location in the former engine house on Brownsea Island.  Originally installed to supply electricity to Brownsea Castle, the engine sat derelict for decades, its glory of olden days stripped away and in pieces.

Members of the team involved in the restoration of the Engine at Brownsea Island ©National Trust/Adam Poole

Members of the team involved in the restoration of the Engine at Brownsea Island ©National Trust/Adam Poole

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The South West Outdoor Festival presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to camp on the edge of the UK’s Grand Canyon

Cheddar Gorge, North looking South ©National Trust/Patrick Kinsella

A jagged jewel in the South West’s crown, Cheddar Gorge boasts the biggest inland cliffs in Britain – stunning features that frame the country’s largest gorge – and in September this year, wild sleepers will have a unique opportunity to camp on the canyon rim, above the world-famous crags and caves, amid the magical Mendip Hills, while enjoying all the activity taking place around England’s newest outdoor festival.   

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Rare handkerchief tree in bloom at National Trust’s Dunster Castle

Handkerchief in flower (c)National Trust/John Miller

A rarely found tree in the UK is currently in bloom in the tropical climate of the river garden at the National Trust’s Dunster Castle, near Minehead in Somerset.  The warm, dry weather over recent months has meant that the unusual handkerchief tree has started to bloom earlier than usual. 

When fluttering in the breeze, the flowers look like a collection of hankies or white birds ruffling their feathers, meaning it’s sometimes known as the Dove Tree or Davidia involucrate.  Visitors will be able to see the tree for around three weeks when it flowers, until the end of May.  Continue reading…