Posted by: Lauren | May 1, 2012

Blog to pause

Hi all,

After 9 short, but very enjoyable months working at Stourhead, I am moving on to a new role. My last day is today and I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for looking at our blog, and to those who have decided to become followers.

I’ve had a fantastic time and it’s been absolutely great sharing the property’s stories and news, and receiving your comments.

If you have any questions for the team or want to find out more about Stourhead, then please visit the website, or email

While my position is being filled, there will be a lull in posts – however, do keep checking back as we will get up and running again, as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading!


Posted by: Lauren | April 20, 2012

Our new ‘Big Belly’ solar-powered bin!

Our Spread Eagle Courtyard was once home to 3 very plain, average rubbish bins….

However, they have now been replaced by 1 brand-new solar powered Big Belly compacting bin!

It is very high-tech and eye-catching – one visitor even mistook it for a cash machine!

Our ranger Tam, who is also lead on all of our environmental work and practices, has explained what the bin is all about and how it works:

‘The bin is 100% solar-powered. 8 hours of daylight (whatever the strength!) will keep the bin working for about a month. When the rubbish bin reaches a certain level, sensors activate the compressor which compacts the rubbish inside the bin. While this is happening, the bin can still be used as normal. This process reduces the frequency of emptying as it can take 5-8 times more rubbish than a regular bin. Small flashing lights on the top of the bin indicate when it needs to be emptied. A huge thanks goes to our raffle team, and to all those who have bought raffle tickets, for making this possible.’

In a couple of weeks we will have 3 more of these bins for recylcing – one for glass, one for plastic bottles and one for cans. We will also be installing a further 4 outside the restaurant, when the resurfacing work has been completed.

Hurray for Big Belly!

Find out more about these bins at

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Posted by: Lauren | April 17, 2012


Due to the unseasonally warm weather we had in March, our 2012 bluebell walk has moved – it is now this Sunday (22nd April) at 10.30am!

The bluebells flowered earlier than expected this year and, to avoid disappointment, our Head Ranger made the decision to bring the walk forward by a couple of weeks.

So if you’re interested in finding out more about these woodland wonders, then join us on Sunday for a guided tour through the estate.

Tickets are £10 per adult and £5 per child. They can be booked via our box office on 0844 249 1895, or online via our events page.

See you there!

Posted by: Lauren | April 13, 2012

A thanks to all of you who supported our campaign

Thanks from the Trust

Posted by: Lauren | April 12, 2012

Marie Curie event – back for 2012

Walk Ten is back for 2012. The 10K twilight walk in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care will be taking place at Stourhead on Saturday 1st September. This is the third year that Stourhead will play host to Walk Ten and with brand new entertainment and a new route there will be something for everyone. After your walk you are invited to settle down by the lake with your home-made picnic and enjoy the evenings entertainment.

All money raised from this event will go towards the Marie Curie Nursing service in your local community. Early Registration is recommended at the discounted price of £10 (under 16’s go free!) and dog are welcome to join in the twilight walk as well. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Contact Matt on 01884 703536 for more information or visit

Walk 10 participants at Stourhead last year

Posted by: Lauren | April 10, 2012

Garden news

How long since we last posted from the garden? We had soooo much to do preparing for the Easter bank holiday! Any-hoo… We are in good spirits although the cold weather is now hard to adjust to after some scorching days. We’ve been pruning mop-head and lace-cap Hydrangeas, at the same time as weeding, mulching and mowing in the top garden. Certain areas of grassland has been mown including the village, drive, churchyard paths, and Pantheon bank. And the Walled garden of course where we’ve also been sowing seeds and planting out broad beans. Our volunteer handy-man Phil has installed new benches and we’ve done weeding en mass.

Spring-time decorations have gone into the restaurant, shop, visitor reception and the temple of Flora – new for this year. We collected material from all over the garden and willow from the estate, which we ‘stole’ from an obliging bumblebee. Above the oak patch, far side of the lake, we’ve planted a group of large-leaved Rhododendrons and a swathe of foxgloves. Some young plants of the early introduced Rhododendron edgeworthii are too small to plant out so are in the pinetum nursery. As the Magnolias are flowering so well this year slate signs have been put out to help with their identification. Matt and George put out wooden plaques for a spring tree trail on Thursday to further aid curious minds who want to know more about our plant collection.

That’s all our recent news – I promise to write more frequently! Em

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Posted by: Lauren | April 5, 2012

Spring swags

This morning, Martin from the Visitor Experience team and Penny and George from the garden team put up some beautiful spring swags in Visitor Reception.

The swags were made by various members of the Stourhead team this week, using dried hydrangeas and other flowers very kindly provided by Stourton House. Most of the flowers survived a van-ride from the gardeners’ mess, as well as the process of being attached to the roof beams, with only a few last minute repairs required before visitors started arriving!

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Posted by: Lauren | April 5, 2012

King Alfred’s Tower – open this weekend

Hi all,

A quick note to say that King Alfred’s Tower will be opening again this bank holiday weekend (12pm-4pm).

The garden team and Brian have been working really hard both this morning and yesterday to get the tower safe and secure in time for Easter – so a huge thanks to them.

Our assistant head gardener Penny will also be on BBC Wilts radio this morning, talking about the effect drought has had on Stourhead – so do tune in for that at around 11.30!

Posted by: Lauren | April 4, 2012

Easter fun this weekend!

Walk, jog or run – come and join in the fun

This Saturday, Stourhead is hosting the EcoFitness team’s  Easter fun runs – suitable for all the family.

Catch me if you can!

‘Beat the Egg 8km chase’ starts at 11.00a.m is for 16’s and over. The chase will take you through the stunning outer limits of the Stourhead Estate. The first 5 people to pass and beat the egg home will win a prize. There will be an egg for all finishers.

‘Chase the rabbit 1km’ is a great way for the younger ones to burn off that extra holiday energy and try and catch the rabbit!! This race starts at 10.30a.m before ‘Beat the Egg’.

Entries for both fun runs are accepted on the day, only if the race limit isn’t reached before hand. For more details visit:

On Sunday and Monday, Stourhead will also be hosting it’s own Cadbury-sponsored Easter trails. This is a great way to entertain the children during the holidays! Trails cost £2.50 per child.

Posted by: Lauren | April 3, 2012

Lambs and flowers

Our new additions to the Stourhead flock were photographed grazing amongst the daffodils last week – the perfect shot to share with you all as we head into the Easter weekend!

Our new quads!
Photo by Tam Holmes - ranger at Stourhead


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