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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Artists take over Brean Down fort

Several National Trust countryside properties are currently in the spotlight as venues for artists to reveal their inspiration and creative processes until Sunday 2 October.

‘Sense of Place: Art on the Edge’

With over 210 venues taking part, Somerset Open Studios is a countywide opportunity to view over 300 artists and makers from a range of disciplines in their working environment. Now the largest visual art and design event in Somerset, this year’s line-up includes established names such as Richard Pomeroy, Angela Charles and Magnus Hammick; as well new and emerging artists.

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Wellington Monument Champions sought

The National Trust's Wellington Monument on the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. (c)National Trust/Fran Stothard

People in and around Wellington, who are interested in becoming one of a small group of volunteers needed to support the Wellington Monument Project, have been asked to get in touch with the National Trust by 9 September.

Helen Sharp, National Trust Project Manager, explains: ‘We are looking for a small group of committed individuals at this stage. We’re calling them the ‘Monument Champions’ because we hope they will act as advocates within the local community.

The National Trust's Wellington Monument on the Blackdown Hills

The National Trust’s Wellington Monument on the Blackdown Hills (c)National Trust

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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…

Work underway on a 21st-century garden with echoes of the past at Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park West Garden (C)National Trust - Barry Batchelor

An ambitious project to transform Dyrham Park’s West Garden is gathering pace.

Inspired by a 17th-century engraving, the National Trust team of gardeners has set to work recreating some elements of the former garden, with a modern twist. 

Dyrham Park West Garden (C)National Trust - Barry Batchelor

Dyrham Park West Garden (C)National Trust – Barry Batchelor

This recent phase began during the major conservation project to replace the leaking roof on the house last year, with new flower beds being marked out on the previously plain lawns. Visitors to the temporary roof-top walkway in the scaffolding were able to get a first glimpse and impressive aerial view of this work.

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Tyntesfield live music headliners announced

Show of Hands. L-R Miranda Sykes, Steve Knightly and Phil Beer (c) Show of Hands

Live from the Lawn returns to Tyntesfield for its third year with two top headliners from the world of Ska and Folk.

Dispelling the stereotype of a quintessential National Trust property, Tyntesfield is constantly challenging perceptions with its events program and this August is no exception. After the success of last year’s event the property, near Bristol, will be hosting 2 Tone legends The Beat, and Radio 2 award winning folk artists Show of Hands for two night time open-air concerts in a beautiful setting.

The Beat ft Ranking Roger (c) The Beat

The Beat ft Ranking Roger (c) The Beat

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Heron moves in to take over island nest

The squatter heron on the nest in the middle of the Prior Park lake

The squatter heron on the nest in the middle of the lake at Prior Park (C)National Trust/Anna Kilcooley

A marauding heron has taken over a coot’s nest in the centre of a lake at Prior Park in Bath – and is refusing to give it up.

A heron has long lived around the lake in the landscape garden, managed by the National Trust, but has recently taken a liking to proudly sitting on top of a stack of weeds in the centre of the lower lake. The pile was originally a nest made by coots, but the heron has now staked a claim to the spot and can regularly be seen relaxing on his new island abode.

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BBC poet Ian McMillan to celebrate Coleridge

Coleridge Cottage - Ian Macmillan (c) National Trust - Adrian Mealing

BBC poet Ian McMillan to celebrate Coleridge

Poet and BBC radio presenter, Ian McMillan, will be hosting an entertaining evening celebrating the work of British Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, on Monday 27 June.

Ian McMillan, presenter of BBC Radio Three’s ‘The Verb’, will give a talk as part of ‘Writing Places.’ The audience will be welcome to join Ian for the evening and put questions to him at the event being held in the village of Nether Stowey in Somerset, home to the National Trust’s award winning Coleridge Cottage.

Ian McMillan's welcome to his Bewdley Festival performance! (c) National Trust / Ruth Bourne

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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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