One year on: Storm Desmond and the Lake District

One year on from Storm Desmond, National Trust rangers in the Lake District are still fixing the damaged caused by floods that left the charity with facing a million pound clean-up bill – including £600,000 worth of uninsured damage.

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View from Latrigg 2016. Credit John Malley

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National Trust – Farming in the Lakes

Mike Innerdale, Assistant Director of Operations in the North, said:

The majority of our farms in the Lakes are leased on multi-generational or life-time tenancies (51 out of 91) under specific legislation. The rest of our tenancies are offered for an average minimum length of 15-years, which is three times longer than the national average and goes well beyond the 10-year minimum the Tenants’ Farmers Association has been calling for across the industry.

We want to maintain and  build strong, long-term relationships with our farm tenants in the Lakes: they need to know we’re committed to them and supporting them –  so that they have the confidence to invest in their business.  We will be writing to all our tenants in the Lakes to reassure them of our long-term commitment to hill farming and hill  farmers. We are also discussing with farming representatives about how we make the tenancy renewal process as fair, transparent and open as possible. We want long-term tenants and there’s no reason why tenancies wouldn’t be renewed if both parties are happy.

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Heritage Lottery Fund award boosts National Trust appeal to secure Churchill’s legacy at Chartwell

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £3.45 million towards the National Trust’s appeal to reinvigorate Winston Churchill’s legacy and acquire many of his personal objects at his family home Chartwell in Kent.

The south front of Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill between 1922 and 1964, Kent.

The south front of Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill between 1922 and 1964, Kent.

The conservation charity launched its ‘Churchill’s Chartwell’ appeal in September to raise £7.1 million.

Since then, nearly £2 million has been raised from around the world from members, supporters, charitable trusts and the Royal Oak Foundation – the Trust’s membership affiliate in the US.

The HLF grant brings the total raised so far to nearly £5.5 million and the National Trust is hoping that more supporters will come forward to help reach the appeal target.

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Ground breaking technology reveals location of monks’ cemetery and new evidence of their burial rituals at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire

Remarkable ground-penetrating technology has revealed more than 500 graves of Cistercian monks and lay brothers who once lived at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, now cared for by the National Trust.

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Fountains Abbey. Credit National Trust Images/Andrew Butler.

The abbey at the site existed from the early 12th century to its closure in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The conservation charity has been working for over two years on a project with experts from the University of Bradford, Geoscan Research, and Mala Geoscience to research the largest monastic ruins in the country.  Continue reading

Farmer moves into £1m coastal farm – for just one pound a year

SHEPHERD Dan Jones and his young family have moved in to their ‘dream farm’, the National Trust’s £1 million Parc Farm on the Great Orme, North Wales.

Ceri and Dan Jones and their sheepdogs move into Parc Farm. Credit Richard Williams.JPG

Ceri and Dan Jones and their four sheepdogs, Bet, Tian, Nel and Floss are the new National Trust tenants at Parc Farm on the Great Orme. Credit Richard Williams

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National Trust doubles the number of curators and seeks new Director to champion curatorial excellence

The National Trust is recruiting for a newly created executive role which will champion curatorial excellence and deliver exceptional visitor experience.

The Director of Curation and Experience will oversee the delivery of one of the charity’s key strategic aims – to provide experiences that ‘move, teach and inspire’  visitors to National Trust houses, collections and countryside.

The conservation charity has also announced that it will nearly double the number of curators it employs – from 36 to around 65 full time staff over the next two years. These changes mean that the Trust is committed to investing more in curatorial excellence than at any time in its history.

The new director will join the executive board and deliver the outcomes of the charity’s curatorial review, which has been assessing the changing needs and skills of its curators, and the resources they need to enable them to support and inspire properties to deliver outstanding interpretation.

Dame Helen Ghosh, the Trust’s Director-General, said: “We have many curators in the Trust who combine deep knowledge of places and collections with flair and imagination in how they are presented to visitors.  But we need more of them.

“The new role of Director of Curation and Experience is a critical one for the Trust; it will help to marry high standards of scholarship and research with a compelling, inspiring and enjoyable experience for all our visitors.

“We will be looking for someone with world class expertise and an outstanding track record for delivering programmes, experiences and exhibitions which bring our houses and landscapes to life.”

Sandy Nairne CBE, former Director of the National Portrait Gallery and one of the Trust’s Board of Trustees said: “There are now many examples across the heritage and museum sector of innovative projects which attract new and existing audiences while promoting high standards of academic research and curatorial excellence.

“The Trust has been recognised recently for some outstanding projects, including the recreation of a First World War hospital at Dunham Massey and the Turner and Constable exhibitions at Petworth. It will now be investing in more curatorial posts and expertise at all levels of the organisation to ensure that these levels of excellence are achieved across all its properties.

“This new senior role is a clear sign of the National Trust’s commitment to put inspirational curatorship at the heart of how it cares for and interprets its places.”

Applications for the role of Director of Curation and Experience open on November 7th 2016.

The job will be advertised on the National Trust Jobs website www.nationaltrustjobs.org.uk

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