A Spanish visitor to Kingston Lacy

A unique landscape by artist Diego Velázquez, painted for King Philip IV of Spain, has left the National Gallery in London for the first time, to be exhibited at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy in Dorset. – Miranda Terry Conservation Assistant pictured

A unique landscape by artist Diego Velázquez, painted for King Philip IV of Spain, is on loan from the National Gallery in London for the first time, and is exhibited at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy in Dorset. Continue reading…

Prior Park recruits youngest head gardener

Alice Palfrey with the Palladian Bridge at Prior Park in the background (c) National Trust / Clare Green

The youngest head gardener in the National Trust has just started worked at Prior Park Landscape Garden in Bath.

Alice Palfrey, who is 29, already has seven years of National Trust gardening and rangering under her belt. She comes to her new role with both experience of looking after Prior Park, and enthusiasm to take the garden forward and continue the process of restoring it to its 1764 state and the time of creator Ralph Allen’s death. Continue reading…

Bristol’s ancient trees to be protected thanks to a generous donation from SC Johnson

National Trust Ranger Janine Connor carrying out a condition survey (c) National Trust / Barry Batchelor

Some of the most important trees in the country, which grow within sight of Bristol, are to be conserved by conservation charity, the National Trust, thanks to support from SC Johnson.

The collection of ancient and veteran trees can be found across a number of Bristol and North Somerset places – including Leigh Woods, Tyntesfield, Shirehampton Park, Failand and Clevedon Court – and consists of one of the largest populations of ancient and veteran trees in the South West. Ancient trees of this kind, which are usually between 150 and 900 years old, are uncommon, under threat, and in need of specialist conservation to ensure their survival. Continue reading…

Leading charities call on candidates to step up for nature

 

Large Blue Butterfly ©National Trust Images. Matthew Oates

The National Trust, RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust, who between them have over 1 million members in the South West, are calling for prospective general election candidates to help give wildlife a safer future and put the natural world at the forefront of their campaign.

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Edwardian engine runs for the first time in 100 years

Engine awaiting restoration, Brownsea Island (c)National Trust/Phil Pickering

An exceptional example of British Edwardian engineering has been brought back to working order by a team of highly skilled and dedicated volunteers, working with the National Trust at Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset. The engine dates back from around 1907 and it is thought to be the only one of its kind to remain in its original location in the former engine house on Brownsea Island.  Originally installed to supply electricity to Brownsea Castle, the engine sat derelict for decades, its glory of olden days stripped away and in pieces.

Members of the team involved in the restoration of the Engine at Brownsea Island ©National Trust/Adam Poole

Members of the team involved in the restoration of the Engine at Brownsea Island ©National Trust/Adam Poole

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Discover countryside in the city this spring with a new National Trust guidebook

Bath Skyline - A view over Bath and the Priory path, Prior Park (c)National Trust/James Dobson.

This May, the National Trust hopes to get Bath residents and visitors exploring the Bath countryside with their new guidebook to the Skyline.

The fully-illustrated guidebook (RRP £6.99) contains three circular walking routes and a foreword by former Bath resident and celebrity baker Mary Berry.

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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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Clouds Hill: Desert to Dorset

A visitor relaxing in the garden at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/Tony Gill

To mark 100 years since T E Lawrence’s part in the Great Arab Revolt, the National Trust team at Clouds Hill in Dorset will be hosting an array of events from 6-21 May which explore the life of this secretive and fascinating man.

Bronze bust of T E Lawrence by Eric Kennington in the Book Room at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/John Hammond

Bronze bust of T E Lawrence by Eric Kennington in the Book Room at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/John Hammond

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Prior Park head gardener retires after 20 years

Prior Park Matthew Ward retires (c)National Trust/Clare Green

After almost 20 years as head gardener, Matthew Ward is leading his last guided tour, before hanging up his trowel and heading off with wife Hillary into a well-deserved retirement.

After 37 years as a National Trust gardener, Matthew has untold tales to tell and knowledge to impart.  His 20 years at Prior Park have seen him lead a number of major restoration projects, in the aim to restore the garden to its 1764 state, and the time of creator Ralph Allen’s death. Continue reading…