Monday, 22 November 2010

Saltram Yuletide Craft and Food Fair

Come to Saltram this Weekend and see our Yuletide Craft and Food Fair.

Within the beautiful surroundings of Saltram you will find the very best in festive arts, crafts and West Country seasonal fare. The yummiest start to the festive season and the perfect place to find beautiful Christmas gifts from local producers away from the high street crowds.

The Yuletide Craft and Food Fair runs from 27th November to 28th November from 10.30am to 5.00pm and admission will be £2.50, which includes entry to Saltram's picturesque gardens and Chapel Gallery.

For further information contact Shirley Margison, our Gallery Supervisor on 01752 347852 or the main office on 01752 333503.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Halloween Weekend at Saltram

Thousands of visitors are set to descend on Saltram this weekend to experience our amazing Illuminated Garden and fright filled Halloween night.

It all kicks off on Saturday night with the illuminated garden hosted by residents of the Saltram estate, bought back to life by our volunteers.

The next day on Sunday things start to get a bit scary as the lights will uncover gangs of ghouls and goblins lurking around the garden. Come and listen to ghost stories in the Orangery, complete our ghostly trail, dance with demons in the UV disco and get scared senseless by spooky goings on.

The Illuminated Garden runs from 6pm to 9pm, entry is £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.

Halloween also runs from 6pm to 9pm, entry is £5 for adults and £6 for children, under 5's free.

call 01752333503 for more information and booking

Monday, 18 October 2010

We Need Your Books!

The second hand book shop at Saltram is getting short of books, if you have any old books your would be happy to donate please contact us on 01752 333503 or drop in between 9.00 and 5.30. All proceeds from the sale of donated books will be invested back into the property.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Discover Food at Saltram This Winter

Saltram will be hosting events this winter which will help you prepare for Christmas and the cold weather with lots of tasty treats and activities.

The 4th of November is Pickled Thursday! Our 10.30am workshop is Sold Out, but there are still places for the 7.00pm event. Make and take home mincemeat, pickled onions and pickled red cabbage, the event includes a Bangers and Mash supper.

On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of November we are running our famous Gingerbread Workshops where you will learn to build a gingerbread house to take home on the day.

The 21st of November is Stir up Sunday, where you will make the perfect Christmas pudding and learn to impress your friends with Christmas Canap├ęs.

On Thursday 2nd of December we will be holding a Decoration Workshop where you can learn to make all sorts of traditional, eco-friendly and eye-catching decorations to brighten up your home this Christmas.

On Wednesday 8th of December from 7.00pm you can attend our Christmas Activity Dinner, where you'll be greeted with a two-course Christmas meal, followed by gingerbread house making.

Please call 01752 333503 for more information and booking. These are all ticket-only events.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Healthy Options on Dartmoor

Do you often wish you were fitter?

Has your doctor suggested a little exercise?

Would you like to get outdoors more often?

When did you last go out into the countryside?

Now is the time to do it!

During the month of October you can try out running, cycling, healthy walking, volunteer tasks, nature ramble or Tai Chi in the beautiful surrounding of the Plym Valley. You can see all sorts of wildlife whilst getting healthy at the same time. We at National Trust have teamed up with Natural England, Running England, Stepping Stones to Nature and others to put together a proramme of tasters to show you how to get fit the fun way without the expensive gym membership. You can make new friends and you may even want to take up a new sport.

Keep watching this website next week for the days and times of the activities we have been planning.

For more information contact Steph Rodgers on 01752 341377.

Monday, 13 September 2010

A rare look inside the books at Saltram

On the 24th September Saltram House is opening its doors to the public for a rare look inside the books of the Library.
Usually the books are just masses of nameless spines to visitors, however this Library is rare as it is original to the house, each volume purchased by the Parker family throughout their tenure at Saltram. On the 24th these books will be taken from the shelves and we will show you some real gems.
The day will be led by the National Trust's Libraries Curator, Mark Purcell and members of Saltram's conservation team, there will be lunch included in the cost and opportunities to ask questions about your own collections.
The day will run from 10.30 - 4.00 and will include lunch in the Fennimore Room. The cost is £27.50 per person and it is a ticket-only event. Please call 01752 333503 for more information and booking.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Open-air family theatre at Saltram House

Saltram will be hosting the Chapterhouse Theatre Company and Illyria later this month when they perform their versions of Pride and Prejudice and James and the Giant Peach.

Both will be performed out on the West Lawn in the garden with the impressive Saltram House providing an amazing backdrop which is not to be missed!

Both performances are on a Wednesday evening and are suitable for children and adults alike.

James and the Giant Peach will be performed by Illyria on the 18th August from 6.30pm-8.30pm and the Chapterhouse Theatre Company will be performing Pride and Prejudice on the 25th from 7pm-9.30pm. Both events are charged at £12 for adults and £8 for children. Call 01752 333503 for more information and booking.

Monday, 5 July 2010

A Plant in Time

The 'A Plant in Time' touring exhibition has finally come to Saltram!

Come along and visit our gardens between the 4th - 17th July (Open every day except Fridays) to see the exhibition in the Orangery and take part in our attempt to make the biggest collection of handmade flowers ever!

The exhibition takes a look at how climate change might affect our gardens in the future and gives you a chance to show us your creative side. The exhibition has already visited nine places and will be running at another six places after Saltram until mid-September, so don't miss your chance to contribute to this fun endeavour.

See or call us on 0844 800 1895 for more details.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Plant invaders - the video

Simon Ford - the National Trust's Nature Conservation Advisor in Wessex explains what the problems are and what we are doing about it

NT - Plant Invaders Week from National Trust on Vimeo.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Virtual Tour of Lydford Gorge

Moor Tours have produced a virtual tour of the White Lady Waterfall at Lydford Gorge - check it out here

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Give us a ring some time

Much excitement down at the National Trust Plymbridge Woods last week at the Plym Peregrine viewing point at Cann Quarry.

This year's peregrine chicks were old enough to be handled so they were ringed on Saturday. Dale Jackson, a trained ringer, licensed by the British Trust of Ornithology, abseiled down to the nest and put small, lightweight rings on the chicks’ legs. The female peregrine was in a tree at the time and the male nowhere to be seen. The female showed some concern when the ringer approached the nest but had been more bothered by another peregrine entering her territory earlier in the day.

The whole process was very quick and painless for the chicks and lasted no more than 10 minutes. The female peregrine was back on the nest within 20 minutes of Dale leaving and has since shown normal behaviour - feeding the chicks regulary and leaving them alone on the nest for short periods of time. She probably wondered what on earth was going on but has not been affected by the disturbance.

Dale reported that both chicks were doing well and was able to tell us that we have one female and one male chick. The female is already the larger of the two.

Peregrines and many other birds are often fitted with rings on their legs to aid conservation efforts. The rings on our chicks will allow us to identify them as Plym peregrines. Perhaps in a few years’ time we will receive news that our chicks have gone on to breed successfully somewhere else in the country or maybe they will return to breed in Cann Quarry if the territory becomes available.

With the ability to identify individual birds we can gather more information about their movements, habits and breeding which all goes to help inform conservation measures to protect them. This could complete the picture for the Plym Peregrine Project by allowing us to confirm that our chicks survive into adulthood, making our efforts to protect the peregrines that extra bit more worthwhile.

To find out more about ringing visit the BTO website
Find out more about the National Trust Plym peregrines at

Friday, 21 May 2010

Warming up for summer?

The chill winds have disappeared today and its beautifully warm and sunny at Wembury today. Although the sea is still cold. We reckon about 10 degrees so probably best to keep your wet suit on!
Check out the children's trail - I Spy. Free when you park at the National Trust car park.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Ten Tors visit Trowlesworthy Tor

168 Ten Tors Teams visited the National Trust's Trowlesworthy Tor in SW Dartmoor near to Cadover Bridge in the Plym Valley over the weekend - that is over 1000 young people. 112 teams were in the 45 mile challenge and 56 were in the 55 mile challenge.

Our Dartmoor NT Facebook logo is Trowlesworthy Tor!

Well done to all and hope you enjoyed the view!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Plymouth Unlocked Saturday

A few photos from today - we will be in the Piazza tomorrow too - so pop down and join in

Friday, 30 April 2010

Plymouth Unlocked

This bank holiday weekend, we are taking the National Trust to town and the people of Plymouth, launching an attempt to bust perceptions and show off what we have to offer in terms of open space, countryside and coast, as well as houses and gardens.

The properties that surround Plymouth (Cotehele/Saltram/South Devon/Dartmoor/Plym Bridge/Buckland) have come together to create an event which will represent the start of us working together to engage with the residents of Plymouth.

From 10am - 5pm, this Saturday and Sunday, on the Piazza (outside House of Fraser) in Plymouth City Centre, the public will have a chance to see just how much there is to do when they visit Trust places by visiting our marquee - from trying on costumes to building mini-dry stone walls, and from attempting a climbing wall to waxing surfboards. All activities on offer are free. We are also using the two days as time to gain valuable feedback on what people think of us.

It's the outdoors that we are really emphasising, to encourage people to discover what is on their doorsteps, often for free. We want to encourage people to discover the outdoors, to try new things, and through doing this, hopefully visiting some of the beautiful places in our care

Bluebells at Wembury

May is just round the corner and with it we hope the bluebells. A little later than last year, National Trust woodland floors will soon be covered with these beautiful English wildflowers.
Join a guided walk or discover for yourself some great displays of bluebells and wild garlic.

At Wembury on Thursday 6 May we will be exploring the recently opened woodlands at Wembury. Last year this pretty piece of woodland along the river Yealm surprised us all with a fantastic display of English bluebells. The Head Ranger, Simon Garner, will be leading the walk and pointing out the rich wildlife along the way.

Other great places to spot bluebells in South Devon are at Gallants Bower (3 mile circular walk from NT Little Dartmouth car park), Tor woods near Overbeck’s (park at NT East Soar car park), or along the coast path from East Portlemouth to Gara Rock (park at NT Mill Bay car park). The walk through Wembury Woods on 6 May is £3 and booking is essential on 01752 346585.
For other great woodland walks where you can spot bluebells visit

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Species of moth - new to science - found at Hembury Woods

A moth previously unknown to science has been discovered at the National Trust’s Hembury Woods in Devon.

With the well-documented loss of British wildlife, this discovery of a new species of micro moth is even more significant given that it has been found nowhere else in the world.

This find was made by local amateur naturalist Bob Heckford. Bob has known Hembury Woods for years, and spotted the unusual bright green caterpillars of this tiny leaf-mining moth on oak saplings.

Matthew Oates, Nature Conservation Adviser at the National Trust, said: “We hear so much about the losses to the natural world, and less about the gains; which makes this find, however small, so important. Amateur naturalists have a wonderful window on the wildlife world and nature continues to amaze us and throw up surprises even in the UK.”

The moths themselves are so tiny – with a wingspan of about 6mm – that you’d have to be sharp-eyed to see them. In fact, what Bob first spotted in Hembury Woods were the tell-tale signs of mines made by the caterpillars in oak leaves. He subsequently found a few more of these caterpillars nearby.

This year, this micro moth has officially been recognised as a new species, and named after the man who discovered it – Ectoedemia heckfordi.

This find is important because one the specimens is now acknowledged by the scientific world as the ‘type’ for that species, against which any future finds will be compared and then determined.

Given the scientific value of this micro moth, a specimen will be added to world famous collection at the Natural History Museum in London. Equally importantly this find makes Hembury Woods the ‘type’ locality.

The woods near Buckfastleigh are a wildlife hot spot. The River Dart runs through the dense oak woodland, which is rich in wild flowers such as bluebells and primroses, and a special site for moths and butterflies.

Since Bob’s early days in the South West he’s had a keen interest in the natural world. He has been the first to find other micro moth species that were previously unknown in the British Isles, including one on National Trust’s land in Cornwall: and in 2006 he rediscovered an oil beetle on National Trust land in south Devon that was thought to be extinct in the British Isles.

In this the International Year of Biodiversity, it is important to pay credit to dedicated amateur naturalists such as him – the often unsung heroes of the natural world.

Matthew Oates continued: “In the UK we have some of the finest naturalists in the world and there is a real need to encourage this deep-rooted tradition of discovery in children and adults.

“This discovery was really a needle in a haystack find and it gives us a tempting insight into what might still be out there.”

This spring and summer, there are events at National Trust properties right across the country that will reveal the wealth of our hidden nature, and bring out the wild side in everyone.

Find out more at

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Escape the city

Make the most of this amazing sunshine and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Only 30 minutes outside of Plymouth you can discover smuggler's lanes and your own unspoilt, secluded cove. Park at the National Trust's car park at Ayrmer Cove. Free if you are a NT member or just £2 for all day.
Make a day of it and take a picnic or visit the Journey's End Inn for a pint and a bite of lunch. Download the walk to find your route down to the sea. Its a 3 mile circular walk with some steep parts. Or if you want to go further afield check out the rest of the site for great walks in Devon and Cornwall and beyond!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Spotty the Dartmoor sensation at Wembury Point

'The long nose, swishy tail and neat little hooves were all horse. But his coat is pure Dalmation Dog.' So started The Daily Mail's account of our own spotty Dartmoor pony born on Easter Monday at Wembury Point. This 3 day old unusual looking foal was soon to become a media star with photos and articles across the internet and newsprint.

Now safely home back on Dartmoor, his family are just one of a group of horses who graze the Trust's South Devon coast to help munch away at the scrub.

He is in fact, a British Spotted Pony - born to a chocolate mare but with a father just as dotty as he is. The NT warden team have called him Pongo - after the dog in the book and film, 1001 Dalmations.

Did you know? During Roman times important officers were given spotted horses as a sign of power. There are currently around 170 spotted horses born in Britain every year.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Picnic tables at Plymbridge

In time for the Easter holidays we installed two picnic tables in our meadow at Plymbridge for visitors to enjoy a picnic or barbeque in comfort. The specially adapted tables have a plate on one end to put your disposable barbeque on. The family in this picture were the first to use the tables during our Easter egg hunt. They were delighted with them and thought it was a lovely idea. They told us they often come down to Plymbridge and will be certain to use the tables again during the summer.
There are two more tables to go up in the next couple of weeks. Why not let us know what you think of them. Keep your eye on the Dartmoor blog at as very soon you will be able to download a map to show you where you can barbeque and picnic in Plymbridge woods.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Catch great surf at Wembury on Saturday

Check out the great surf at Wembury this weekend.
The weather is set for great surfing on Saturday (3 April). The place was buzzing this morning. Its £4 to park but if you are under 25 years fork out £22 and you can park at Wembury all year long as park free at loads of other beach car parks across Devon, Cornwall and Wales.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Peregrine season begins

The 10th year of the Plym Peregrine project began on Monday 22nd March. Every day until 24th July you can view the peregrines on the quarry face at Plymbridge Woods. Watch them fly above you at speeds up to 200 mph! its amazing to watch. We have telescopes set up all day and into the evening too. Our dedicated watchers will help you to see the birds and tell you all about them.

If you would like to volunteer to become a watcher go to for more info.

Spring has sprung for the Coast & Countryside team along the South Devon Coast

Blog from Richard Moore, National Trust Warden for South Devon Coast & Countryside
With what appears to be the worst of the frosty mornings over and colour creeping back into our hedgerows, I think it’s fairly safe to say spring has well and truly sprung. Along with this change in seasons, so too comes a change in our workload. Practical winter jobs such as tree felling and fencing have given way to others, most commonly the mammoth task of keeping grassy areas short and pleasant to visit, along our extensive lengths of public footpaths, bridal ways and the coast path.

Longer, warmer days also bring a change in our upcoming events. Those of you that made it to the Explore the Outdoors exhibition at Plymouth Pavilions on the 13th and 14th of March may well have paid our stand amongst others a visit. For the benefit of those unaware of the shows ambition, in brief, it is a collective group of bodies with similar interests, ideas and backgrounds who gather and unite to deliver the same message; enjoy our countryside. With the National Trusts own Unlocked event just around the corner on the 1st and 2nd of May we found the experience incredibly useful, not only in seeing the drive and passion people still have for the outdoors but also in inspiring us with creative ideas that should result in Unlocked being a lot of fun. Find us at the Piazza on Armada Way and discover more about cycling, surfing, rock pooling and how to build giant sand sculptures. There is plenty for the kids to do including making a seaweed press or a beautiful bug out of willow, building a woodland den or getting their face painted. Its all free too.

Although not relevant until later in the year the final point I would like to mention would be the new additions delivered to our workshop earlier in the month. After months of planning, speculating and welding we are now the proud owners of two rather large charcoal kilns. These have been sited and we will be doing some practice runs before our charcoal burning event in October. Having the kilns on site brings the reality of it one step closer. I’d urge those interested to check out the blog closer to the time as places will book up fast, apparently burgers taste better when cooked over your own coals.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Bonus Time at Wembury Beach this weekend (20-21 March)

Bonus time is almost here...
We're offering a really exciting 'bonus' this spring:
Free entry and car parking to National Trust places on the weekend of 20 and 21 March 2010.

Visit us at Wembury and you'll save £4 (day rate for parking).
Why not take explore the fabulous rock pools, build a sandcastle or just take a stroll along a number of paths?
Discover this beautiful piece of coast only a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle of city life. One of my favourite walks is to take the path up from the beach up to Wembury Point where there are fantastic views. Watch out for the beautiful Dartmoor ponies grazing along this stretch of coast. Let us know if you spot any of our rare cirl buntings along the way.

All the details of the weekend are on our website, and there's lots of information on how to make the most of the day on the website

Friday, 12 March 2010

Lydford Gorge opens for the season

Lydford Gorge opens this weekend from 10am. Be one of the first this year to walk through the gorge. Keep a look out for buzzards over head and grey wagtails down by the river. There is lots more to spot too! Tea-room and shop open.

Peregrine falcons in Plymouth

Would you like to see peregrine falcons on your doorsteep? - they are fantastic birds and you won't be disappointed. Well, visit Plym Bridge Woods in a week or two and you will be amazed. Our volunteers will show you the birds through telescopes from the Cann Quarry viaduct - it is a great day out and its free.

Visit our web site to get details of when is the best time to visit and where to go. Spring is nearly here so things will soon start happening!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Alice at Antony

Throughout 2010, the hidden gem of Antony House near Plymouth will be transformed by the National Trust into a fabulous, surreal setting. Renowned British film director, Tim Burton, shot part of Disney’s forthcoming movie, Alice in Wonderland, inside the eighteenth century house, and within the confines of its magical grounds in 2008.

Find out more about the movie here. Find out more about Alice at Antony here and more about Alice events at Antony here. Find out how to get to Antony here.

If you want to get involved at Antony with Alice read our poster

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Welcome to the new National Trust Plymouth blog

The idea of the blog is to inform the residents of Plymouth and surrounding areas what the National Trust is up to in and around Plymouth. This site will be your source of information on places to go, things to do, ways to get involved and a forum for you to comment on what we are up to.

Here is a guide to the places we look after around Plymouth - press the links to get further details.

Plym Bridge