£1m boost to Wellington Monument’s future in Autumn Statement

Wellington Monument Illuminated (c)NationalTrust/FranStothard

Wellington Monument Illuminated (c)NationalTrust/FranStothard

A £1 million grant has been awarded towards urgent repairs of the Wellington Monument by earlier today.
The money, announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond’s in his first Autumn Statement, comes from fines levied on the banking industry for manipulating the LIBOR rate. The government committed £102 million over the next 4 years to support good causes – with £1 million going to the repairs of the Wellington Monument.
Andy Semple, Assistant Director of Operations for the Trust in Somerset & Gloucestershire, explains: ‘This is an incredible start to our fundraising. We have been working hard over the past year to understand why the structure is deteriorating and to talk to local people about why it’s so important to them.
‘It will be 200 years next October since the foundation stone was laid and today’s news is hopefully an important step in safeguarding the Monument for the next 200 years for the benefit of the nation.’
Rebecca Pow MP says: ‘I am absolutely thrilled that the National Trust has been awarded £1 million of Libor funding for the restoration of our much loved Wellington Monument.
‘For over a year I have been working with the National Trust and the whole community on the campaign to restore the Monument and over the last week I have been stepping up the pressure.  I have personally stressed to both the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury the importance of this commemorative structure internationally, nationally and crucially locally making it clear just what it would  mean to see it restored to its full former glory.

L-R Helen Sharp, Rebecca Simon Larkins, Rebecca Pow

L-R Helen Sharp, Project Manager; Simon Larkins, General Manager and Rebecca Pow MP (C)Rebecca Pow

‘The awarding of these funds is testament to the hard work of the National Trust, the thousands of people who signed my parliamentary petition, the newly crowned local monument champions and everyone else who has shown support for the cause.’
This funding gives the project a huge boost. The next step is for the National Trust to submit their first round application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in a couple of week’s time towards the £3million still needed to raise for the project to go ahead.
The Trust would like to thank Rebecca Pow as the Libor Funding was made possible through her support and commitment to the project.

Volunteers helped National Trust rangers in Dorset give the Cerne Giant its annual haircut

The Romano-British Cerne Giant, thought to be Hercules, carved in chalk in the hillside at Cerne Abbas in Dorset (c)National Trust Images

 

Mild, wet autumn weather has resulted in above-average grass growth on the hillside, near Dorchester, threatening to obscure the Giant.

Rob Rhodes, National Trust Countryside Manager for West Dorset, said: “Record grass growth meant that the Cerne Giant was looking a bit sorry for himself. The sheep that graze the hillside throughout the year needed a bit of help from our ten volunteers and five rangers.” Continue reading…

Nature-friendly farmers help make conservation breakthrough    

jersey-cirls-nov-2013

Twenty-five years of dedication to saving the cirl bunting as a breeding species in Britain has been rewarded, with the threatened bird’s population topping 1,000 pairs.

Farmers in Devon and Cornwall have responded brilliantly and helped the RSPB make a giant step towards achieving conservation security for this farmland bird.

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Night Run at Tyntesfield

Runners on a night run (c)National Trust Images - Chris Lacey

Runners are being given the rare opportunity to explore Tyntesfield by night on Saturday 3 December.

The National Trust estate just outside of Bristol is hosting its third annual Night Run as part of a series of trail running events held at National Trust sites across the country. The aim is to allow visitors to explore these special places after-hours and to give and promote fitness during the cold winter months.

Runners crossing the starting line of a National Trust Night Run (c)National Trust Images- Chris Lacey

Runners crossing the starting line of a National Trust Night Run (c)National Trust/Tim Lee

 

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picture by James Robbins

picture by James Robbins

Cotehele Ranger James Robbins discovered a dormouse in ‘a torpid state’ in a nest box on the National Trust estate nr Saltash in Cornwall,

during his autumn dormouse-check recently.

‘Dormice are fattening up for winter now,’ says James. ‘They gorge like mad on berries and nuts, especially hazel nuts, which they open in a characteristic fashion, then they sleep, then eat some more until finally they crawl under leaf litter at the base of trees for the winter hibernation. They’ll become active again in spring.’

The Wildlife Trust classifies dormice as a priority species in the UK.

Halloween fun with the National Trust

Avebury Spooky Adventure (c)National Trust/Abby George

The mysteries of Halloween have brought out the creativity of the National Trust which is celebrating the end of October in very different ways.

Children are being invited to solve a mystery of missing beasts at Lacock, join a Halloween trail at Dyrham or explore a cat trail at Avebury during the half term fun.

Avebury Spooky Adventure (c)National Trust/Abby George

Avebury Spooky Adventure (c)National Trust/Abby George

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Artists take over Brean Down fort

‘Sense of Place: Art on the Edge’

Several National Trust countryside properties are currently in the spotlight as venues for artists to reveal their inspiration and creative processes until Sunday 2 October.

‘Sense of Place: Art on the Edge’

With over 210 venues taking part, Somerset Open Studios is a countywide opportunity to view over 300 artists and makers from a range of disciplines in their working environment. Now the largest visual art and design event in Somerset, this year’s line-up includes established names such as Richard Pomeroy, Angela Charles and Magnus Hammick; as well new and emerging artists.

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‘A wake up call to everyone who loves nature’

leigh-woods-meadows-day-2It’s not too late to save UK nature but we must act now – that is the conclusion from a coalition of more than 50 leading wildlife and research organisations behind the State of Nature 2016 report.

Following on from the groundbreaking State of Nature report in 2013, leading professionals from 53 wildlife organisations have pooled expertise and knowledge to present the clearest picture to date of the status of our native species across land and sea. The report reveals that over half (56 per cent) of UK species studied have declined since 1970, while 15 per cent (1,199 of the nearly 8,000 species assessed in the UK) are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

Harry Barton, chief executive of Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “This report provides the most detailed picture of the state of our wildlife ever. There are some successes to be proud of here in Devon, beavers, otters and little egrets among them, but overall the tide continues to move rapidly in the wrong direction. More than half the world’s wildlife has disappeared since 1970. It is still within our gift to turn this around and recover much of that loss. But if we want to avoid a similar disastrous decline over the next generation, all of us are going to have to do much more, think a lot more radically, and be far braver.”   Continue reading…