A robotic landing craft due to make the first ever touchdown on a comet on 12 November owes its name to an ancient Egyptian obelisk which stands in the grounds of Kingston Lacy in Dorset. Continue reading →
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 →
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  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, 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%).
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.
One of the newly fledged hen harrier chicks in the Peak District. Credit: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Five hen harrier chicks have successfully fledged on National Trust land in the Upper Derwent Valley – the first time hen harriers have bred successfully in the Peak District for eight years.
This a result of a wide partnership of people and organisations that have worked together to protect the birds and their nest as part of the National Trust’s High Peak Moors Vision for the area, which aims to restore birds of prey as part of a rich and healthy environment.
Bee-eaters nesting on the Isle of Wight have raised eight chicks – the most successful breeding attempt by these birds, normally found in the Mediterranean, on record in the UK.
Three chicks have now fledged from one nest, on National Trust land, and another five chicks have fledged from a second nest.
Bee-eaters on the Isle of Wight. Credit Danny Vokins.
An adult bee-eater was first spotted at Wydcombe on 15 July by National Trust dragonfly survey volunteer Dave Dana. And chicks were first sighted a month later on the 15 August. There were originally thought to be nine chicks but one has not survived.
Dave Dana, a National Trust Volunteer on the Isle of Wight, said: “I’d just come from counting golden-ringed dragonflies at a stream and I thought ‘that bird looks a bit different!’
“Its flight path seemed almost triangular. I didn’t really appreciate the bird until I got home and looked at the photos. I’d always wanted to see a bee-eater in this country but I never thought it would turn out to be a major wildlife event.”