Shortlist for Wainwright Prize 2016 revealed

Publisher Frances Lincoln, in association with the National Trust, has today announced the shortlist for The Wainwright Prize 2016, an annual award to celebrate the best UK nature and travel writing.

Wainwright

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Tragic past of Powis Castle remembered for Somme anniversary

One hundred years after the Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 1916, visitors to the National Trust’s Powis Castle in Wales are being transported back in time to experience life in the trenches during the First World War.

An installation, which has transformed the castle’s empty basement rooms into a full-scale replica trench and officers’ mess, tells the story of Viscount Percy Clive, the eldest son and heir of the 4th Earl of Powis. As an officer in the Welsh Guard, he was fatally wounded during the Battle of the Somme.

Powis Castle trench view. Credit National Trust, Steve Rawlin

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1976: a devastating summer for wildlife

This Sunday on Countryfile Matthew Oates, National Trust nature expert, will speak about the devastating effect on wildlife of the long hot summer of 1976.

This time forty years ago the long hot summer of 1976 was approaching its height.

The country sweltered under a Mediterranean-type climate.

As the country burned, we learned. The heathland fires that summer taught us that heath habitats must be actively managed or they burn up, 1976-style.

Headley HEath

Headley Heath (c) National Trust / David Zinzan

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London gardens open up over summer weekend

More than 200 gardens in the heart of London will open their doors for a weekend of celebrations this weekend as part of Open Garden Squares Weekend organised by the London Parks and Gardens Trust.

Over two days on 18 – 19 June, visitors can explore the vast number of urban green spaces in the capital. From roof gardens to community parks, schools to hospitals, the gardens are spread throughout the city.

The National Trust will open up seven of its gardens across London for the event, inviting visitors to discover the history, heritage and hidden stories of these city gardens.

Fenton House and Garden

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Credit National Trust Images/Sarah Jackson

Fenton House has extensive and innovative walled gardens, with formal walks and lawns, a rose garden, kitchen garden and a historic orchard.

In June, the rose garden comes into its own, with stems bowing under the weight of scented blooms. Cottage garden in style and feel, roses are under planted with traditional cottage favourites like phlox, foxgloves, poppies and London Pride, and herbs like sage.

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New Chiltern haunt for rare Phantom Hoverfly

The chance sighting of a globally rare hoverfly in the Chiltern Hills has satisfied a lifelong ambition for one National Trust insect expert.

The Phantom Hoverfly was spotted near Ivinghoe Beacon on the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate by the conservation charity’s expert entomologist, Peter Brash.

It is believed to be the first recorded sighting of the red-listed hoverfly species in the Chilterns. Across England there are approximately 1-2 recorded sightings of the rare insect every year.

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Phantom Hoverfly, pictured on a bramble leaf. (c) Peter Brash/National Trust

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National Trust Statement on Voluntary Internships

The National Trust believes that voluntary internships provide a great opportunity to involve a wide range of people in our work at the same time as gaining work experience of direct benefit for their future careers.

Clear guidance is provided to all staff that create intern roles to ensure that the opportunities we provide are as accessible, fair, well-managed and as meaningful as we can make them for participants. All internships support projects, rather than everyday business, and placements last no longer than six months.

We want to make our internships open to a wide range of people. That’s why we limit the roles to part-time hours, to ensure people still have the time for paid work, look for new roles or on-going studies.

We cover all out-of-pocket expenses, including lunch costs and travel.

We are committed to developing the skills of all of our interns and work with them to set goals at the start of their placement. During the course of the internship, we monitor how these goals are being reached and look at what training opportunities there might be.

To help us continue to improve the internship programme, we run annual surveys of our interns. Last year’s survey revealed that 94% of interns agreed they enjoyed their internship and 90% would recommend an internship with the National Trust.

While the Trust cannot guarantee an internship will lead to paid employment, a good number of our previous interns have found employment with us and many more have gone on to find jobs in related sectors.

Internships are just one way people volunteer their time to support our charity. We have 61,000 volunteers at the Trust, of which 33 are interns.