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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South West wins big at National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards announced at BBC Countryfile Live

Tregullas Farm web11 South West products (27 nationally) were bestowed with one of the food and farming industry’s highest honours, a National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award at BBC Countryfile Live yesterday, with Tregullas Farm, the most southerly farm on mainland Britain, winning the National Trust’s first-ever ‘Farming with Nature’ award.

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Romans are coming to Chedworth Roman Villa

The Romans are coming to Chedworth (c) Roman Military Research Society

Chedworth Roman Villa is hosting a week-long re-enactment event with the Roman Military Research Society re-creating Roman military and civilian life.

The Roman Military Research Society study, investigate and perform practical experiments to re-create, as accurately as possible, Roman military and civil life.  They demonstrate the skills of the Roman Army and Romano-British people, including infantry, artillery, archery and everyday customs.

A taste of Roman cooking at Chedworth (c) Roman Military Research Society

A taste of Roman cooking at Chedworth (c) Roman Military Research Society

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The summer rain adds some sparkle to Killerton cider

Pictures by Steven Haywood of Killerton's apples for Apple Week celebrations on 17th & 18th October at Killerton - Pictured is Emma Wakeham and Killerton's latest edition to the team 'Puppy springer spaniel TOBY! having fun in the orchard

Pictures by Steven Haywood of Killerton’s apples for Apple Week celebrations on 17th & 18th October at Killerton – Pictured is Emma Wakeham and Killerton’s latest edition to the team ‘Puppy springer spaniel Toby having fun in the orchard

August was a rainy month for tourists and locals but there was one upside to the downpours however; the wet weather has made for a bumper crop of apples in the National Trust orchards at Killerton and the trees are heavy with fruit ready to be made into cider.

2014 was a memorable summer, but an apple crop to forget, producing only 3,000 litres of cider. But this year the trees are so full that the National Trust hopes to double its production.

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Accolades galore as South West Farmers mark 10th Fine Farm Produce Awards at Selfridges

Double Cream from Ashclyst Farm a winner in the National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards Products

Double Cream from Ashclyst Farm a winner in the National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards Products

24 South West products (62 nationally) were bestowed with one of the food and farming industry’s highest honours, a National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award, at a ceremony in London last night.

It was the first time – and fitting for the 10th anniversary – that so many products met or exceeded the strict judging criteria of the conservation charity’s food and farming awards.

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Perry Pear Weekend at Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park will be hosting a harvest celebration on 18-19 October. Over the last few weeks the estate has been joined by its visitors in collecting pears from its orchard, so that the fruit can be turned into ‘Dyrham Park Perry’. The celebratory weekend will be the first opportunity to try this year’s batch along with mulled and hot pear juice varieties. Continue reading…

South West producers walk away with top Fine Farm Produce Awards including coveted ‘Overall Food Winner’

Neil & Sally Grigg - Burrow Farm - Red Ruby Devon Beef

Neil & Sally Grigg – Burrow Farm – Red Ruby Devon Beef

Neil and Sally Grigg’s Ruby Red Devon beef from Burrow Farm on the Killerton estate nr Exeter, has earned them the top title of ‘Overall Food Winner’ in the coveted Fine Farm Produce Awards, presented at Tyntesfield near Bristol today (2 September).

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Well-trained Dyrham pears go up the wall

Most people associate pears with growing on trees, but for the first time at Dyrham Park near  Bath gardeners are seeing the autumn fruit growing up the stable wall.

After years of training, the pears appear more like vines and have been proving quite the talking point at the National Trust park, garden and house. These pears, which can be seen all along the stable wall between the tea-room and the seventeenth century mansion house, are dark-coloured, traditional-shaped Black Worcesters, but Dyrham Park also has many other native pears. Continue reading…