Spring is on the way; you can smell it

National Trust garden teams have just conducted their annual flower count for Valentine’s Day and although this year spring seems to be on the way, just as we would normally expect, but what is noticeable is how many scented plants are out in flower at this early time of year.

National Trust gardeners reported 1,737 plants blooming in this year’s 12th annual Valentine’s Flower count, 34% down on last year’s figure of 2,644. Although numbers are down on 2016, they are still higher than the previous three years.

For the second year running, Saltram had the highest number of flowers recorded with 176 blooms (193 in 2016).

The snowdrop has been voted the top spring flower for the fourth year running in a survey run with National Trust supporters on social media. The gardens at Cotehele, Lanhydrock, Kingston Lacy and Saltram have been voted the most popular places to see spring blooms.  Continue reading…

Snowdrops at Kingston Lacy

Snowdrops flowering in the garden at Kingston Lacy Dorset ©National Trust / Images James Dobson

Kingston lacy, a National Trust estate near Wimborne, Dorset, is famous for its snowdrop display.  The snowdrop walk stretches through the 40-acre garden for one and a half miles.  Even without the cold weather needed to encourage the snowdrops to bloom the team are still expecting a good display throughout late January and February.

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Discover the benefits of volunteering at Snowshill Manor and Garden

Visitors and room guide in the Turquoise Room at Snowshill Manor and Garden ©National Trust Images/James Dobson

Would you like to make new friends?  Need a fresh challenge in your life?  Or want to develop your interests?

On 28 January, between 10am and 12.30pm, Snowshill Manor, just a couple of miles away from Broadway, will be hosting a drop in New Volunteer Day where you can discover what being a National Trust volunteer is all about and have an informal chat with staff and volunteers.

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Preparing for a blooming New Year at Dyrham Park

Tulips in the borders at Dyrham Park in previous years ©National Trust

Staff and volunteers have spent the last fortnight on the mammoth task of planting more than fourteen thousand spring bulbs at Dyrham Park in South Gloucestershire.

Staff and volunteers planting tulips in The Avenue borders at Dyrham Park ©National Trust/Richard Lawson

Staff and volunteers planting tulips in The Avenue borders at Dyrham Park ©National Trust/Richard Lawson

Freezing conditions and heavy rain haven’t deterred their efforts to get the hyacinths and tulips in the ground ahead of the Christmas break so they’re ready to bloom next spring from March to May. Continue reading…

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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Yellow and orange days of autumn in South Somerset

The yellow and orange days of autumn are a favourite for many people – it’s certainly the case at National Trust places in South Somerset. There are lots of reasons to get outside and enjoy the changing seasons, and to get up close to nature and wildlife. Visitors can be as creative as they like whilst building their very own den with the help of Ranger George at Barrington Court on 25 & 27 October. At Montacute House, going for an autumn ramble will bring even greater rewards if you pick up one of the autumn trails to follow, from 22 to 30 October.

Children playing on a swing in the garden at Montacute House, Somerset.(C)National Trust Images/John Millar

Children playing on a swing in the garden at Montacute House, Somerset.(C)National Trust Images/John Millar

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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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Henry the cat tries the 50 Things challenge at Dyrham Park

Dyrham's Henry goes on a bare foot walk (c)National Trust-Laura Williams

A cat who lives at Dyrham Park has taken up a National Trust challenge to children to get outdoors and complete 50 fun things before they are 11 and ¾.

Dyrham's Henry with compass (c)National Trust-Laura Williams

Dyrham’s Henry with compass (c)National Trust/Laura Williams

We all know cats love climbing trees, but Henry has got involved in den building, making a daisy chain and other activities. Continue reading…