Tag Archives: gardens

National Trust Launches New Heritage Gardening Courses

The National Trust has announced two new heritage gardening courses, representing the charity’s most significant development in horticultural training for 20 years.

Co-funded by the National Gardens Scheme, the new courses will offer budding gardeners the opportunity to study for qualifications in heritage gardening and replace the Trust’s Careership training scheme launched in 1991*.

For those new to heritage gardening, the one year Foundation Certificate will develop the essential practical skills needed to look after and nurture heritage gardens, and is aligned with the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Level 2 in Horticulture.

The two year Diploma in Heritage Gardening is unique to the National Trust and offers what is arguably the most comprehensive grounding in heritage gardening available for those with some prior experience and relevant qualifications. It builds on the Foundation level training, providing trainees with an in-depth and working knowledge of heritage gardens.

Mike Calnan, Head of Gardens at the National Trust said: “Our new gardening courses are a great step forward and have been designed to develop the modern skills needed to sustainably manage major heritage gardens into the future. We believe they are a significant development for the sector and fill the training gap between existing botanic horticulture and amenity gardening diplomas.

“We can now offer two entry points and great opportunities for people wishing to develop a long and rewarding career in heritage gardening and a spring board for those aspiring to become our Head Gardeners of the future.”

Developed in conjunction with Reaseheath College in Cheshire**, the gardening coursesare largely practical, with trainees based at major National Trust gardens. To supplement this practical learning, trainees also spend 10 weeks a year at Reaseheath developing their horticultural knowledge.

In addition to traditional and modern techniques used in major gardens, trainees on the Diploma course will cover plant conservation, GPS surveys and plant databases; garden history, period planting styles, restoration, and interpretation and visitor engagement techniques.

Trainees on both courses will be able to work alongside the National Trust’s most experienced Head Gardeners in some of the most famous gardens in the country such as Sissinghurst, Hidcote and Stourhead. They will also learn about garden conservation from the National Trust’s gardening experts and will have opportunities to develop additional skills and knowledge with placements at other Trust gardens.

The new courses start in September 2012 and there are 10 places available on each. Applicants can find out more information at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gardencareers and apply from 27 April 2012.

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Begins Search For The Nation’s Favourite Walk

The National Trust has launched its search for the nation’s favourite National Trust walk, backed by a line-up of celebrities, including the comedian Omid Djalili, the best selling crime-writer Val McDermid and Time Team’s archaeologist Francis Pryor.



As part of the National Trust’s nationwide Festival of Walking*, which is sponsored by PruHealth, eight celebrity supporters have nominated their favourite routes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Hoping to inspire everyone whatever their age or ability to get out and explore the amazing outdoor places cared for by the National Trust, the celebrities’ walks cover more than 30 miles and range from Adam Hart-Davis’ invigorating walk along the Devonshire coastline, Paul Rose’s route through the spectacular scenery of the Lake District to some lesser known walks in the gardens and parks cared for by the National Trust.

Avid explorer and presenter, Paul Rose said: “Walking is just so amazingly simple. You need no special equipment, no special training, no special clothes; you just close your front door and go for a walk. It’s very easy, just go out and explore.

“Windermere is so accessible, you can just walk a few minutes out of town and yet it has a great sense of true wilderness. It’s a beautiful working environment. This is my local connection to nature right here.”

In contrast to the dramatic hills and lakes of Windermere, the actress and singer Toyah Willcox chose Capability Brown’s sweeping parkland, Croome Park in Worcestershire.

Toyah said: “Croome Park is just absolutely stunning. Worcestershire has beautiful rambling landscapes, gentle rolling hills, it’s agricultural land so it’s ever-changing and it has a very natural old-world feel about it. Croome is really cleverly designed. You look out across these rolling gentle hills and you see wonderful monuments, follies and statues and the lake in particular is really lovely. You truly feel you own the whole park while you walk around it.”

As well as videos of the stars lobbying for their chosen walk the National Trust are encouraging people to submit their own favourites. From October 20th, the public can join the debate online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk./walkingfestival. Everyone who nominates their own favourite will be entered into a prize draw to win National Trust walking boots.


Via EPR Network
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First Rate Farm Producers Win Coveted National Trust Awards

Twenty-two food and drink producers from across England and Wales are celebrating after winning a prestigious Fine Farm Produce Award from the National Trust.

The awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate the breadth and quality of produce grown, reared or made on land owned or managed by the National Trust, including tenant farms, orchards and gardens.

A total of 33 products from 22 producers – including dressed brown crab, red Devon beef, stoneground flour and light golden ale – have received Fine Farm Produce Awards. They will now be able to use the coveted Fine Farm Produce Award marque on their products. This year’s winning products were chosen from a very high standard of 47 separate entries.

Five new producers won an award this year and a total of 18 new products received the coveted stamp of approval for the first time, including the Red Devon beef from Big Red Cow in Somerset and Parke Farm apple juice.

The beef was extremely popular with all the judges who thought it was “full of flavour with a great texture”, whereas judges considered the juice to be “characterful”, with a “nice sharpness and distinctive taste.”

This year’s overall winner was hand-picked dressed brown crab, fished from the seas surrounding the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.

Steve Harrison, who runs Aberdaron Seafood with his wife Natalie and business partner Idwal Moore, said: “This has been our busiest year ever and we’re very happy to have been chosen as overall winner this year. Winning in 2008 and 2009 really made a huge difference to our business. We supply a lot of businesses locally, but we even have a restaurant in London using our crab now.

“The award really is important to us. It’s good to have the recognition from the judges and it also really helps raise our profile.”

Rob Macklin, national agriculture and food adviser at the National Trust, said: “To even qualify for judging, all products meet strict criteria of provenance and environmental and animal welfare standards, and all primary ingredients must meet high production assurance.

“Products that successfully pass this check are subjected to a vigorous blind taste test by a panel of judges. The appearance, preparation, colour, aroma, texture and taste all have to be at least as good as a high quality, commercially available alternative, to win an award. Judging is therefore harsh but fair.”

The National Trust cares for half a million acres of farmland across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It works closely with its properties and tenants to help them develop high quality products.

Rob continued: “Since 2006, over 150 products have received a Fine Farm Produce Award and this year’s winners will join a group of some of the very best producers that the country has to offer.”

This year’s judging panel included Henrietta Green, food writer, broadcaster and founder of FoodLoversBritain.com; Karen Barnes, editor of delicious. magazine and Richard McGeown, chef patron at Couch’s Great House Restaurant in Cornwall.

Via EPR Network
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National Trust Reports The Rise Of The Daycation

New National Trust research* reveals that the number of Brits taking a two-week holiday has decreased by 18% over the past five years with 51% of Brits not planning to take a fortnight’s holiday in 2011.

The study reveals a new trend for Brits taking multiple single day holidays throughout the year, as opposed to the traditional two-week break their parents worked towards.

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits are planning to take at least ten single days holiday – or ‘daycations’ – this year and a further 36% will take between five and ten. 48% of those polled cited the cost of a fortnight’s holiday as the main reason for not taking two weeks off work, whereas one in 12 hard-working employees blamed the inability to switch off from the job.

For time-poor Brits the growing daycations trend means they can split their time into smaller and more frequent holidays or days off and 42% of those polled cited this as the reason for favouring day trips. A further 64% said the daycation was a cheaper alternative to the traditional holiday and 57% believe they’re a lot less hassle.

Tony Berry, visitor experience director of the National Trust, commented: “Our research reveals an interesting trend for Brits taking multiple single days off work, making the most of their spare time – and enjoying these daycations, as we’ve coined them. Our visitor numbers for 2009-2010 also reflect this with over 17 million people enjoying our houses and gardens, and millions more exploring the swathes of outdoor spaces we care for.”

Despite those in fulltime employment having 28 days holiday on average each year**, the research also revealed that 34% of employees are unable to switch off from work at all during their time off and taking shorter breaks and single days off help them unwind as they don’t dread work piling up when they return.

Via EPR Network
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