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.
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.
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.
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.
Britain’s largest nature organisations have today launched their joint vision for a post-Brexit environment, farming and rural policy.
WWF-UK, National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB are calling for:
- A new policy for the countryside – UK Governments to work together to replace the CAP with policies that deliver high environmental standards for land management across the UK
- The creation of an independent Policy Commission – to examine a future policy for the environment, farming and rural development and encourage an inclusive and engaging public debate
- A joined up approach between Government policies and plans for farming and the environment – Any future environment, farming and rural development policy must work together with the Westminster Government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment
- Continuation of agri-environment schemes – All existing agri-environment schemes should be kept open until a replacement policy is fully operational.