Ship shape and Tyntesfield fashion

Tyntesfield Woodland play 2 (c)National Trust - Peter Hall

An extensive new woodland play area, with a nautical theme, will be opened by the National Trust at Tyntesfield on 31 May.

A play trail already exists at the estate, but the new additions have been created in response to feedback from visitors, who have asked for more to explore in the woods.

Tyntesfield's new play area artists impression  (c) Touchwood

Tyntesfield’s new play area artists impression (c) Touchwood

There will be three new play structures, as well as additions made to two which already exist on a pathway leading up into the woods.

Catherine Coleman, Learning and Engagement Officer said, ‘The new one that I’m most excited about is the wooden ship. This was inspired by the guano trade that made the Gibbs family fortune.

‘Children will be able to pretend they’re sailing to South America to collect the valuable bird droppings, test their balance on the anchor chain and hide woodland treasure in a chest.’

Tyntesfield Construction of woodland play area 1 (c)National Trust - Peter Hall

Tyntesfield Construction of woodland play area 1 (c)National Trust – Peter Hall

During the launch day there will be a BBQ and Victorian sailors on hand to explore what life in the Navy would’ve been like in the 1800’s, as well as putting young sea farers through their paces with cannon drills.

The new woodland play area at Tyntesfield opens on 31 May, normal admission applies. For more information please see:


‘The South West has so much to offer for the outdoor fanatic of today’

Monty Halls

Monty Halls

The South West is a mecca for outdoor sport and adventure.  For the first time the South West Outdoor Festival brings them together in one unique place – at Heddon Valley – Exmoor’s secret valley .

The festival is being supported by numerous legends of the outdoor world who either hail from the region originally, or have gravitated here because of the wealth of exciting adventure opportunities that exist in the area.

Among them is Dartmouth-based TV presenter Monty Halls, who will be attending the festival as a speaker, film maker and self-confessed outdoor addict.

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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…