FIVE questions with Brownsea red squirrel leprosy researcher Anna Schilling

Earlier this year we announced that some of the red squirrels on Brownsea Island, Dorset, are suffering from leprosy. The island, which we manage in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust, is home to around 200 red squirrels.

We are working with researchers from the University of Edinburgh to better understand the disease and its impact upon the island’s wildlife.

Conservation vet and researcher Anna Schilling will spend the next three years studying leprosy in red squirrels. Based at the University of Edinburgh, we are part-sponsoring her PhD along with Dorset Wildlife Trust. We asked her five questions about her project.


Researcher Anna Schilling on Brownsea Island. Credit: National Trust/Tom Seaward





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Bettany Hughes’s ‘Ten Places, Europe & Us’


Bettany Hughes at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk

A new podcast series from the National Trust unravels Europe’s influence on our nation through the ages revealing the continental roots that lie buried in locations from Neolithic Avebury ring to modernist Hampstead.

Over ten weeks starting on 24 October, award-winning historian and broadcaster, Bettany Hughes, will explore National Trust sites and uncover their cosmopolitan histories, revealing their links to the wider world in ten 20 minute programmes. Continue reading

First seal pups spotted on the Farne Islands

The first seal pups of the year have been spotted by National Trust rangers on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland Coast.  Continue reading

National Trust rangers LASSO rare Norfolk beech seeds for the nation

NATIONAL TRUST rangers on the Felbrigg Estate have this week been helping to ensuring the survival of Norfolk’s rare beech trees.

Rangers are using rope lassos to collect ten kilogrammes of beech mast (seed) for Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank at the organisation’s Wakehurst estate in West Sussex.

Once collected, the seeds will be stored by the Millennium Seed Bank in sub-zero temperatures in vaults deep beneath the Sussex countryside.


Ranger Richard Daplyn with a Beech Mast, credit National Trust Images/Matthew Usher

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National Trust statement on hydro schemes

Patrick Begg, Rural Enterprises Director at the National Trust, said: “We have committed to meeting half of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, reducing our overall energy use by 20%. We are playing our part in tackling climate change, which is a huge threat to special places.

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Trust spends record levels on conservation as visitor numbers and memberships hit new high

We welcomed record numbers of visitors last year,  our membership is growing, and our income also increased. As a result, we are spending more money than ever before on funding our conservation work.

As a charity, we don’t make money for its own sake, but use it to look after the 300 historic houses, 250,000 hectares of countryside and 775 miles of coastline in our care. We balance the need to raise funds with ensuring that the public can enjoy access to the places and experiences we can offer.  The increasing numbers of people visiting our places and joining our charity suggests we are getting the balance right and people are enjoying what we offer.

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Cider insider welcomes a bumper British apple harvest

NATIONAL TRUST cider expert Rachel Brewer has predicted a strong year for cider and apple juice, with late summer rains producing a sweet and juicy apple crop.

The pommelier and gardener manages ten acres of orchards at Barrington Court, Somerset, where over 90 varieties of apple trees grow.

Ms Brewer said: “The apple juice this year is some of the best we’ve ever made. I was worried that too much summer sun would stunt our crop but the rain came at a crucial moment late in the season, leaving us with lovely sweet and juicy apples.

“There may be some sore heads in Somerset this winter; sweet apples means that our cider will be strong,” she added.
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