A new natural play trail opens at Leigh Woods in Bristol

A new play trail has opened at Leigh Woods near Bristol, cared for by conservation charity the National Trust. The trail uses natural materials and includes a range of separate activities to encourage families to explore more of the woodland, which forms part of the Avon Gorge Site of Special Scientific Interest. Continue reading…

Heritage partners respond to report on proposed Stonehenge tunnel

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and its heritage advisors ICOMOS International, have published a report on the Government’s developing plans for a major upgrade of the A303 which cuts across the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS).

The early plans, which went to a first round of public consultation earlier this year, include proposals for the construction of a tunnel of at least 2.9km in order to remove much of the damaging A303 from the WHS.

In a joint statement, the National Trust, English Heritage and Historic England said: 

“We’re disappointed that the ICOMOS report largely ignores both the benefits of removing a large stretch of the A303 and the danger of doing nothing at all.

“The A303 cuts through the heart of the Stonehenge world heritage site, splitting it in two and causing damage to this ancient landscape, pollution and delays for thousands caught up in the traffic jams that have blighted the area for decades. With traffic set to increase, maintaining the status quo is not an option for anyone who cares about the heritage and history of this unique site.

“We believe that if well-designed and sited with the utmost care for the surrounding archaeology and chalk grassland landscape, the tunnel proposal presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide a setting worthy of some of the nation’s most important ancient monuments and will bring huge benefits in terms of public access, nature conservation and protecting the nation’s heritage.

“The report rightly points out that further work is needed on the proposals. Our three organisations are champions for this remarkable site and we want to reach the best possible outcome for it. We have challenged aspects of the scheme which we have concerns about and we have called for the proposed routes at the last consultation to be significantly improved. We also recognise there are others in the heritage community who could make a valuable contribution and welcome the recommendation of setting up a scientific committee as soon as possible to bring this expertise together.

 

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.

Continue reading…

17th-century well restored at Coleridge Cottage

National Trust volunteer Ian Faris, stands next to the newly restored well at Coleridge Cottage (c) National Trust / Dave Wood

Visitors to Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey, Somerset, are now able to draw water from the building’s original Georgian well following its restoration. The well, which is 16 metres (over 52 feet) deep, was built in the 1640s at the same time as the cottage. Thanks to the help of visitors who bought raffle tickets to raise money, the well can now be returned to its former use. Continue reading…

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…

Stoat holes created in drystone walls by National Trust

Andy Chapple (L) and Simon Nicholas with the new stoat hole (c)National Trust

After watching stoats building their nests inside tumbledown drystone walls, the wallers at the Sherborne Park Estate in Gloucestershire have set about creating ‘stoat holes’ built into new walls for the animals to nest in. Continue reading…