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…

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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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…

Frogs eager to breed in Cornwall

Frog spawn on the Lizard

Frog spawn on the Lizard

The common frog Rana temporaria is a familiar sight across the UK. In any shallow standing water you are likely to come across tell-tale clumps of spawn, and tadpoles and froglets vying for survival, not above eating their siblings if needs must!

But just when can you expect to find frogspawn and tadpoles in your local pond? The simple answer might be spring for spawn, and summer for tadpoles, but delve deeper and this doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny.

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Unveiling of World War I Commemorative Stone at Drewsteignton

Armistice Day memorial Sundial created by Stonemason's at Castle Drogo and given to the village of Drewsteignton

Armistice Day memorial Sundial created by Stonemason’s at Castle Drogo and given to the village of Drewsteignton

A World War I commemorative stone sundial was unveiled in Drewsteignton Village Garden yesterday, marking Remembrance Day.

Tim Cambourne, Castle Drogo Project Manager said: ‘There is a very close connection between the Trust and the residents of Drewsteignton and surrounding villages.  Many of the craftsmen working on the castle enlisted along with Julius Drewe’s three sons.

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Keeping grazing cattle safe on Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons

Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire

After more than ten years of consultation, cattle grids are to be installed to keep safe the cattle whose grazing ensures the commons are maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.

The first cattle grids, costing over £117,000 have been funded by a grant of £75,000 from SITA Trust through its Landfill Communities Fund with additional support from Natural England. Continue reading…

Ghost boats to arrive in Bristol’s best loved woodland

Withdrawn mock up - Lukejerram

Renowned artist Luke Jerram and the National Trust have announced details of the landmark art project, Withdrawn, which is funded by Arts Council England as part of the Bristol 2015 European Green Capital programme.

From April 2015 Luke Jerram invites visitors to Leigh Woods to experience an unexpected encounter with a flotilla of abandoned fishing boats installed in the depths of the woodland. Continue reading…

Ancient battle site preserved for the future

The View from Burrow Wake on Birdlip Hill towards Crickley Hill, Stroud, Gloucestershire

The site of a battle that took place over 5000 years ago has been preserved for the enjoyment of future generations thanks to a National Trust project.

The archaeological remains at Crickley Hill suggest a battle took place there in around 3600BC. These remains were covered by the ramparts and ditches of an Iron Age hill fort over 2000 years ago and there is also evidence of occupation there from the 5th century when the Roman army left Britain. Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…