Friday, 20 September 2013

Fancy a bit of fungi?

A post from Rebecca, our volunteer member blogger, who is out and about for us this autumn and finding the best events and walks the NT's London and South East region has to offer.
What will you find on your #gbwalk this weekend?  Autumn is mushroom time!  Everywhere we have walked this week seems to have led us to some fabulous looking fungi.  Steeped in folklore, it is difficult not to imagine that pixies live under the gills of a mushroom or that fairies gather around the rings left on a lawn.  Fairy tales aside, they also make a very tasty dish if you are particularly savvy when it comes to identifying them! 
So if like me, you would like to learn which ones could make it into the frying pan or simply like to take a guided walk to find out more about them, then you might like to check out these glorious fungi foray events across London and the South East region over the next couple of weeks:
Runnymede has a Fascinating Fungi - Guided Woodland Walk on 29 September where you can explore Coopers Hill Woods with a local expert who will help you discover the wonderful fungi on show here and guide you through their place in our ecosystem.
At Claremont, expert Sara Shepley will walk you through these woodland finds and tell all about them.
Down on the Isle of Wight, visit the stunning Newtown Nature Reserve and check out the mushrooms there too.  Just call 01983 741020 to find out about fungi events happening there.
Or wander through the wonderful Emmetts Garden armed with an identification sheet and see how many fungi you can find.
Don't forget to check out the details and book where necessary.  Good luck finding those fungi! 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Making the most of Autumn - Apples #autumnglow

One of the things we love most about autumn is all the bountiful harvests it brings. Many of our London and South East places are putting on special events to celebrate this.

©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Join the team at Smallhythe Place in Kent on 21 Sept for a day all about apples, plants, preserves and bees.

The Greys Court Big Harvest Weekend on 21 and 22 Sept is going to bring together local food and drink producers so you can sample the best of the season.

Take the chance to sample apple varieties, some of which date back to 1220, along with special apple dishes in the restaurant and a children's quiz at the apple and orchard day at Ightham Mote in Kent on 28 Sept.

Got your own bumper apple harvest? Bring your bounty to the community apple pressing day on 28 Sept at Swan Barn Farm and press your own juice. If you're not growing your own apples, you can join in the fun pressing some of ours, and our team of experts will be on hand to answer questions.

The Alfriston Clergy House team will be sharing East Sussex woodcraft skills and giving you the chance to speak with apple experts at their apple and orchard day on 29 Sept.

Mottisfont in Hants has an orchard walk on 29 Sept where you can learn about the history of their orchard and perhaps sample a few apples.

Today on a #GBWalk - discovering new photo angles at Scotney Castle

via Instagram

Discover a secret walk in the South East #GBWalk

We're celebrating the special places that can only be found when you're out walking with our Great British Walk festival in partnership with PruHealth. Here are some highlights from across London and the South East.

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

The Bodiam Castle team in East Sussex are putting on a series of guided walks on Wednesdays that help you uncover the secrets of the castle including why there's a Second World War pillbox in the grounds.

At Uppark in West Sussex, there's a self-guided woodland wander  with secret places so secret that the team won't even tell us what they are!

Sheffield Park in East Sussex has a fun trail for kids with a secret safari theme and one for adults too, uncovering the hidden history of the park and garden.

Why not get closer to nature by learning about the secrets of ancient trees at Mottisfont in Hants, or by looking at ways wood provides us with warmth as the temperature drops with a ranger lead walk on the secrets of charcoal.

If you're into ghost hunting there's some eerie secrets to be uncovered at Hughenden in Bucks, or if military history is more your thing, there's special secret walks at South Foreland lighthouse in Kent, or on our Buscot and Coleshill estates in Oxfordshire.

On the Surrey Hills, you'll be able to try a walking challenge taking in more than one of our special Surrey places, starting at Polesden Lacey.

There's loads more #GBWalks to try across London and South East - take a look at the walking festival map on our website.