New hydro trial marks successful milestone for ambitious National Trust renewables programme

A new way to overcome the challenges of building renewables on significant and extreme weather-prone places has been successfully trialled by the National Trust.

National Trust Hafod y Porth hydro project

The conservation charity has switched on a hydro turbine at Hafod y Porth in Snowdonia. The scheme is uniquely the Trust’s first hydro turbine to be pre-fabricated off site before being transferred and assembled on location.

Continue reading

An apple for apple day…or 72 at Clumber Park

In a nod to apple day, the National Trust’s Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire is celebrating its recent National Collection ‘award’ for its apple collection, making it just one of five collections culinary apples in the country. Continue reading

National Trust statement on Stonehenge tunnel proposal

Ian Wilson, Assistant Director of Operations, at the National Trust, said: “The National Trust has a long standing ambition to remove as much of the A303 road from the Stonehenge landscape as possible. 

“Huge volumes of traffic on the road are already having a detrimental impact on the site and forecasts suggest this will only get worse. We need to find a solution to this problem sooner rather than later and that solution needs to remove as much of the highly damaging existing road as possible.

“We believe building a tunnel under the landscape is the best way of improving the quality of this special place whilst at the same time significantly improving a major transport link for the South West.

“We would like to see the longest possible tunnel but we recognise that any plan needs to be both affordable and deliverable if we’re to finally solve this long-running challenge.

“Early results from our work to assess various options for the A303 at Stonehenge suggest that a tunnel of 2.9km may bring significant benefits for this special place, reuniting the archaeologically rich wider Stonehenge landscape, and allowing people to better explore and understand the story of a place so important for the human history of these islands.

“Reuniting the two halves of the world heritage site would also allow visitors and local communities to enjoy far greater access to this wonderful landscape. We’re continuing to work with the Government and partner organisations to look at how we best deliver a world class solution for one of the most important pre-historic landscapes in Europe.”

ends

National Trust response to English Heritage New Model announcement

The Government today confirmed plans, announced last year, to restructure English Heritage.

This will see the division of English Heritage into a charity looking after heritage sites and a statutory body called Historic England.

Ingrid Samuel, National Trust Historic Environment Director says:

“This is a very important moment for the future of heritage in this country. This innovative step to divide English Heritage changes the landscape, and it offers a real opportunity to support stronger heritage protection through a new Historic England.

“As a charity dedicated to looking after the nation’s natural and built heritage we need both English Heritage and Historic England to remain strong partners with the sector, having access to the resources and support they require.

“Appropriate levels of funding are crucially important to achieving this, and we welcome the Government’s commitment to financial certainty into the next financial year.

“However, careful monitoring will be necessary in future to ensure both English Heritage and Historic England have the resources they require over the long-term.

“We are pleased that the Government intends to review progress and funding for both bodies, but they must be prepared to act if required. We hope these reviews will seek the opinions of the Trust and others on how well the changes are working.

“One immediate concern is whether English Heritage will be able to build up sufficient reserves early enough to cushion them in moments of need. We have always said it is vital that Historic England is insulated from the business risks of the new charity to ensure it can remain a strong champion and effective regulator for the historic environment. This, along with a broad remit, is particularly important as local authority heritage provision continues to come under increasing pressure.

“With future spending reviews it is vital that all political parties show commitment to supporting England’s heritage.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the two new bodies to safeguard heritage.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-model-for-english-heritage-moves-a-step-closer-following-consultation

Autumn colour is a natural tonic to beating the winter blues

New research from the National Trust has found that the kaleidoscope of natural colours experienced on an autumn walk makes people feel happier, healthier and calmer [1] at a time when more than 40% admit to feeling down as the nights draw in.

The conservation charity released the findings as part of its Great British Walk 2014, Carding Mill Valley, Blue Hills. Autumn walk. National Trust.which launched this week with an invitation to enjoy a rainbow of walks. Shades of blue found on walks by water or when the landscape is coloured by the evening’s darkening sky were found to help soothe away stress (36%), while the greens of hilltops and pine woodlands leave people feeling more connected with the natural world (52%).

Continue reading

A fresh spin on green living this September

From giant hamster wheels and behind-the-scenes tours to green gardening advice and the chance to win a year’s free electricity – there will be fun for all ages at lots of National Trust places this September.

Give green living a whirl at National Trust places in September ©Good Energy

Give green living a whirl at National Trust places in September ©Good Energy

Continue reading

Partnership brings new hope for birds of prey in the Peaks

One of the UK’s most iconic birds of prey – the peregrine falcon – is showing signs of recovery at a key breeding site in the Peak District thanks to the partnership between leading conservation bodies, volunteers and stakeholders to protect these birds.

The peregrine was almost brought to extinction in the 20th century but initiatives to revive its fortunes have been encouraging and numbers are doing well in most parts of England.  For many years though the north east Peak District has been a black-spot for peregrines, and birds of prey generally.

Continue reading