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

National Trust unveils highlights of its Theatre line-up at BBC Countryfile Live

August sees the first ever BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire which aims to celebrate all aspects of the British countryside.

The British coast and countryside are loved and admired around the world. But, behind the stunning scenery and breath-taking views, there are important questions and controversial issues affecting the future of rural Britain.

Close view of the Pennine Way path at Standedge on Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Close view of the Pennine Way path at Standedge on Marsden Moor showing cracks in the Moss beyond, seen under a stormy sky with the sun under dark clouds.  Credit NT Images & Joe Cornish

A series of thought-provoking debates on the most important  issues affecting rural Britain is scheduled over the course of the four days in the National Trust Theatre.

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Shell founders house goes green

A National Trust property, once owned by the family that founded the Shell oil company, has made the switch from oil to a renewable energy heating system.
Upton House 1.jpg
 
Upton House, in Warwickshire, was using 25,000 litres of oil each year to heat the estate. It now produces the equivalent energy from two new wood pellet boilers, which is enough to heat eleven average sized houses. This will save £6,000 a year on heating bills and 55 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
 
The successful completion of the Upton House and Gardens project is the first milestone in the Trust’s £30 million investment programme in renewable energy, announced last year, to heat and power some of its historic places [1].
 
The estate and gardens were gifted to the Trust by owner, and then Shell chairman, Lord Bearsted, in 1948.
 
Ed Wood, the Trust’s renewables project manager at Upton House, said: “The irony that the estate was owned by a family whose fortune was built on oil was not lost on us when we started our project to take Upton off this fossil fuel.
 
“In the past, oil was the most effective way to heat the property. Times have changed and to lower our carbon emissions and meet our targets to generate 50 per cent of all energy we use from renewable sources by 2020 we felt it important to change our energy source here.”
 
The property removed four oil boilers, and in doing so, the associated risks of oil leaks. The new biomass boilers, with the wood pellets sourced from the UK, are heating the house, property offices, the squash court gallery, restaurant and cottage. 
 
Julie Smith, General Manager at Upton House, said: “Installing the new heating system has met the energy needs of this wonderful country house with appropriate consideration for the heritage of the property and gardens.
 
”It took just eight weeks to install and clearly shows how we are committed to safeguarding our heritage and helping to protect the natural environment.”
 
Mike Hudson, Renewable Energy Director for the National Trust, said: “This is a great example of what support from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is enabling the Trust to do. Schemes like these cut carbon, promote local sustainable wood management and work in harmony with the natural and built environment. They work for the local environment and economy and support national energy and climate change ambitions.”

Capability Brown tercentenary gets underway with planting of his favoured tree

To launch a year of celebrations to mark the tercentenary of Lancelot (Capability) Brown’s birth, the National Trust is planting hundreds of trees back into several of his designed landscapes in its care.

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Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust plants a Cedar of Lebanon at Croome in Worcestershire to mark the tercentary of one of the landscape gardening greats – Capability Brown. Credit James Dobson & NT Images

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Newton’s pips take space tour with Peake

Apple seeds from the famous tree that inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity have been sent up to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the latest mission which saw British astronaut Tim Peake blast off to join this week.

Newton's apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor. Credit Ann Blackett and National Trust

Newton’s apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor. Credit Ann Blackett

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National Trust response to proposed relaxation of planning protections for the green belt

Further to the relaxation of planning protections for the green belt proposed yesterday by the government, the National Trust said:

“We are concerned and will be looking closely at the implications of what is being proposed.

“Green Belt prevents urban sprawl, keeping town and villages distinct and special, which is why we think it is important to maintain the protections it offers.

“We don’t have urban sprawl in England in the same way that other countries do because of our history of development planning, and the designation of Green Belts in particular, and we weaken that enduring protection at our peril.

“As a nation we need more houses and many of these can be built in cities. We should be aiming for sustainable growth, where we make the best use of available brownfield sites. Any release of undeveloped land for housing should be considered carefully, as a community prepares its local plan.”