Dyrham Park conservation project ends paving the way for new plans

Dyrham Park East Front May 2016 (C)National Trust-Laura Williams

Dyrham Park West Front May 2016 (c)National Trust-Laura WilliamsThe last of the scaffolding has come down at Dyrham Park, marking not only the end of the £3.8m conservation project to replace the leaking roof, but the start of a new era for Dyrham Park.

The National Trust team has now begun the huge task of finding a new way to tell the story of the 17th-century house, transforming the garden and building a lasting legacy for the attraction.

 

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Ship shape and Tyntesfield fashion

Tyntesfield Woodland play 2 (c)National Trust - Peter Hall
Tyntesfield's new play area artists impression (c) Touchwood

Tyntesfield’s new play area artists impression (c) Touchwood

An extensive new woodland play area, with a nautical theme, will be opened by the National Trust at Tyntesfield on 31 May.

A play trail already exists at the estate, but the new additions have been created in response to feedback from visitors, who have asked for more to explore in the woods.

There will be three new play structures, as well as additions made to two which already exist on a pathway leading up into the woods. Continue reading…

Capability Brown 300 anniversary month at Prior Park – June 2016

The Palladian Bridge at Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath, Somerset.

The Palladian Bridge at Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath, Somerset.

A celebration of the 300th anniversary of landscape gardener Capability Brown, is being held at Prior Park Landscape Garden in Bath.

The National Trust, which cares for Prior Park, is taking part in the national celebrations for the tercentenary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown with a series of events, classes and workshops throughout June.

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Horse power at Tyntesfield

Tuppence the horse logging

A heavy horse has been drafted in to help with the extension of a National Trust woodland play area at Tyntesfield, near Bristol.

The building work has already begun, but Tuppence, a 14 hand Welsh Cob, is due to join the site from Monday 18 April to Wednesday 20 April to help haul timber. The logs she will be moving were felled at Tyntesfield; they measure approximately 28 ft. long and will be used for edging in the play area. Continue reading…

Tyntesfield inspired Shaun

Rhiannon Southwell and Willow (c) National Trust - Barry Batchelor

Rhiannon Southwell and Willow (c) National Trust – Barry Batchelor

The rare china and porcelain among an assortment of 50,000 objects at Tyntesfield, has inspired a sculpture on this summer’s Shaun in the City charity sculpture trail. The collection is not only the largest of its kind within the National Trust, but has inspired designer Rhiannon Southwell, for her Aardman famed sculpture. Continue reading…

Experiments in chemistry to discover Tyntesfield’s Victorian past

Bottle with handwritten label (c) National Trust

Bottle with handwritten label (c) National Trust

The mysterious and potentially dangerous contents of a Victorian medicine cabinet will be examined at Tyntesfield, near Bristol on 9 July. Dr Jenny Slaughter from Bristol University will be sampling the contents of the cabinet alongside student Isabel Wiltshire in a collaborative study between history and medicine. Continue reading…

Retracing the past with new orchard

Tyntesfield Orchard (c) National Trust Peter Hall

Over the next five years Tyntesfield in Wraxall, near Bristol, will see in the region on 350 fruit trees planted as the estate seeks to reconnect with its rich food growing past.

Already well underway, this major conservation project will see staff, volunteers and visitors building tree guards and planting hedgerows, whilst also learning how to prune and care for the trees on the National Trust estate. The team will harvest a range of fruits, deliver workshops and produce cider, apple juice and other products.

Planting will be spread over the course of the project, with the first batch of trees already in place. The new orchard will be split into two sections, with five acres of heritage apples and six acres of cider and juice apples, set out in a traditional spacing framework. The heritage orchard will act as a gene bank for local Somerset and Bristol fruit varieties, such as Summer Stibbert and Poor Man’s Profit, which date back to the 1830s. The area will be managed using traditional methods providing excellent conservation benefits, with swathes of wildflowers, diverse habitats of dead wood and wild areas.

In the cider and juice area there will be a more linear approach to planting as yield and accessibility will be important, and this part of the orchard will be managed with the help of grazing sheep. The estate will be planting cider and juice varieties such as Yarlington Mill and Porters Perfection, which will be transformed into bottled drinks with the aim of them being available to buy from the Tyntesfield estate shop.

As the orchard project progresses, Bristol based schools, growing projects, city farms, and local residents will be able to get involved by learning skills in grafting, pruning and plant care, and by taking part in events and workshops.

Janine Connor, a Ranger at Tyntesfield said: ‘This exciting project will not only improve nature conservation and biodiversity, but will help us build relationships with local communities and eventually generate income for further conservation. We are looking to grow a mix of traditional and modern varieties of apple and pear, as well as plum, crab apple, medlars and quinces. The orchard is open to visitors to walk around, and is currently filled with beautiful wildflowers.’

Janine and the team at Tyntesfield are following in the footsteps of the estate’s Victorian owner Antony Gibbs who presided over 3000 acres of arable, pasture farmland and orchards. He built Home Farm, introduced cattle to the estate and pursued the latest developments in agricultural technology. Today the estate looks after 540 acres of gardens, woodland, parkland and arable, which are open to visitors 364 days a year.