Making a house a home – volunteers needed at Max Gate, Hardy’s Cottage, and Clouds Hill, Dorset

National Trust volunteer, Annette Joyce, at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/Martin Stephen

The small cottages near Dorchester where Thomas Hardy and Lawrence of Arabia lived are charming to look at, but it’s the warm welcome of the volunteer guides there that turn them from houses into homes.  On 1 March the National Trust will be opening the doors of Hardy’s Cottage, Clouds Hill and Max Gate, Hardy’s other home in the area, to visitors and the conservation charity is looking for more volunteers to help them do it.

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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…

Walking into the record books for the last leg of the challenge

christine-hammond-70The last leg of the South West Coast Path Challenge comes to the Dorset coast on Saturday 29th October, along the final stretch of the South West Coast Path national trail.

More than 12,000 miles have been pledged by people walking or running the coast path so far this month, smashing the record set last year of 10,000 miles clocked up during the inaugural event.

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Stourhead restores Alexander Pope Quote

Pictures By Steven Haywood - The recarving an Alexander Poper inscription at the Grotto at National Trust's Stourhead Grotto, -using the traditional methods and tools.

The National Trust team at Stourhead, in Wiltshire, are working with experts from Cliveden Conservation to restore the worn lettering to a quote written by Alexander Pope in the first half of the 18th century and carved into the curved marble slab situated in the Grotto [1].

The recarving an Alexander Poper inscription at the Grotto at National Trust's Stourhead Grotto (c)National Trust/Steven Haywood

The recarving an Alexander Pope inscription at the Grotto at National Trust’s Stourhead Grotto (c)National Trust/Steven Haywood

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Stourhead comes alive with a tree top performance

Dramatic performance by Whispering Woods at Stourhead (c)National Trust/Martin Tompkins

This autumn the National Trust at Stourhead, Wiltshire, is hosting an aerial performance of ‘Red Threads’ by the talented Whispering Wood Folk.

The event, taking place on the 16 October at 2pm, will welcome the arrival of autumn and celebrate the wonderful display that nature creates in the Stourhead garden during the season.

Dramatic performance by Whispering Woods at Stourhead (c)National Trust/Martin Tompkins

Dramatic performance by Whispering Wood Folk at Stourhead (c)National Trust/Martin Tompkins

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Eye Tracking comes to Stourhead

Scientists from the ‘Eye Tracking Collective.landscape architecture’ at the Osnabrueck University of Applied Sciences in Germany are working with the National Trust’s Stourhead in Wiltshire to study how visitors to the world-famous garden interact with the landscape around them.

stourhead-eye-tracking-glasses-inside-the-pantheon-cnational-trust-stephen-haywood

Eye Tracking glasses inside the Pantheon, Stourhead (c)National Trust/Steven Haywood

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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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Timbers washed up on beach may be from historic Swash channel wreck

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Stewart Rainbird and Joe Ahvee with the piece of wood, possibly from the Swash Channel wreckage ©National Trust

 

Timbers found by National Trust rangers on Studland Beach after Storm Katie swept through may be from the wreck of a 17th-century Dutch ship which has excited experts since its discovery in 1990.

The so-called Swash Channel wreck, near the entrance to Poole Harbour, has been described as the most significant maritime archaeology project in Britain since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982.

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Care of Dorset nature reserves

Hambledon Hill, Dorset. The hill is a prehistoric hill fort and National Nature Reserve, situated in the Blackmore Vale, near Blandford Forum.

Hambledon Hill, Dorset. The hill is a prehistoric hill fort and National Nature Reserve, situated in the Blackmore Vale, near Blandford Forum.

 

The National Trust has now taken management control of three National Nature Reserves in Dorset.

The National Trust and Natural England have a long history of partnership working on these and many other sites and visitors are unlikely to notice much difference on the ground.  The National Nature Reserve accolade, which is conferred by Natural England, confirms that the National Trust has the required expertise and resources to manage these sites to the highest standards and has committed to continue to do so.

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