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


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.

Doros profuges front

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.

Record-breaking Arctic Tern migration revealed

Electronic tags fitted to one of the world’s smallest seabirds have revealed record-breaking migration distances.

A study carried out by scientists at Newcastle University for BBC’s Springwatch has mapped for the first time the incredible annual migration of Arctic Terns from the National Trust’s Farne Islands on the Northumberland coast.

The Farne Islands, Northumberland.

The Farne Islands has 23 nesting species of seabird, including thousands of puffins. (c) National Trust Images/John Millar

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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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Top three seabirds to look out for on Springwatch tonight


The Farne Islands get a starring role in Springwatch this month. Gwen Potter, National Trust’s Countryside Manager for the Northumberland Coast, shares her top three birds to look out for on your TV screens.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing the Farne Islands with BBC’s Springwatch.

Presenter Iolo Williams will present a daily update for the popular wildlife show from the Farne Islands. Viewers of the popular wildlife show will get to see the very best wildlife the islands have to offer. Continue reading