Endangered water voles return to Yorkshire’s Malham Tarn after fifty year absence

One hundred water voles will be reintroduced into the National Trust’s Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales this weekend, in what is believed to be the highest upland water vole reintroduction project (by altitude) ever carried out in Britain.

This will be the first time the endangered mammals have been seen at Malham Tarn – England’s highest freshwater lake (377m) – in fifty years.

National Trust ecologists believe Malham Tarn’s water voles were wiped out in the 1960s by mink, which escaped from fur farms nearby.

180. Water Vole (Malham)

Water vole at Malham Tarn (c) National Trust Images / Paul C Dunn

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BBC’s Charlotte Smith: my TOP moments from BBC Countryfile Live

BBC Countryfile Live, the first live festival based on the BBC’s hit countryside show, ended on a high yesterday. Over four days thousands descended on Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, for sun-kissed days of debate, farm animals and play.

Charlotte Smith, presenter of BBC Farming Today, spoke to us about her top moments from hosting the speakers in the National Trust Theatre at BBC Countryfile Live. Continue reading

Talking APPLES with Killerton Estate’s Fiona at BBC Countryfile Live

We caught up up with Fiona Hailstone, from the National Trust’s Killerton Estate, Devon, to talk all things ‘apple’ at BBC Countryfile Live.

Killerton Estate scooped Best Overall Drink award for their apple juice in the National Trust’s Fine Farm Produce Awards last Thursday.

Orchard manager Fiona was at BBC Countryfile Live this weekend, speaking to visitors about Killerton Estate’s cider – another Fine Farm Produce Award winner.

Killerton Estate cider, a winner of the National Trust's 2013 Fine Farm Produce Awards.

 

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EIGHT things we learned from Ray Mears at BBC Countryfile Live

Yesterday National Trust ranger Kate Martin caught up with TV adventurer and bushcraft expert Ray Mears at BBC Countryfile Live.

They were joined in the National Trust’s 50 things area at the festival by a group of children for a spot of den building.

Ranger Kate Martin shares the EIGHT things she learned, talking dens and survival with Britain’s top adventurer. Continue reading

Amy Liptrot’s THE OUTRUN wins Wainwright Prize at BBC Countryfile Live

Amy Liptrot’s debut book was named winner of the prestigious award for nature writing at a special event at BBC Countryfile Live this afternoon.

The Outrun, her account of reconnecting with her native Orkney, beat five other titles to win the Wainwright Golden Beer Prize.

Amy Liptrot

Amy Liptrot

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National Trust rangers in Brecon Beacons call in helicopter help for essential path conservation work

As the nation celebrates National Parks Week (25-31 July), National Trust rangers have called in helicopter support to carry out essential conservation work on footpaths on Corn Du, the second highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales.

 

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(c) National Trust Images / Graham Bettiss

Over two days earlier this month a fuel-efficient SD2 Squirrel helicopter flew 160 tonnes of local sandstone to rangers on Corn Du. One tonne of this ‘scalping’ stone will cover around two metres of footpath.

An estimated 300,000 people visit National Trust places in the Brecon Beacons every year. By regularly repairing footpaths, rangers from the conservation charity help minimise soil erosion on the hill and prevent damage to the rare plants that grow on the hillside, such as Purple Saxifrage, the most southerly arctic-alpine plant in Britain.

The National Trust cares for over 3,300 hectares (8,200 acres) and 43 miles of path in the Welsh National Park, including southern Britain’s highest mountain, Pen-y-Fan. Continue reading