All the latest news & events from the garden and the National Trust in Bath

Posts tagged “Volunteers

Crazy Weather/Richens Orchard

So after this week, I think it’s safe to say that Bath has experienced pretty much all the seasons in the space of 4 days. Freezing cold gales and rain one day to hot summer sunshine the next. We even had some flurries of snow and sleet on Wednesday! Hard to believe it’s actually March, isn’t it?

Well despite this crazy weather, the team up at the Skyline were out making the best of the hotter days by having a group session down in Richens Orchard (at the bottom of Bathwick fields).

Richens Orchard 008    Richens Orchard 011

The day was spent mainly raking, as the grass had been mowed earlier in the week to keep it from becoming overgrown. The remaining few hours were spent removing an old fence and creating habitat piles and log piles in the neighbouring wood. I’m sure we made some small invertebrates very happy!

With the 4 Skyline volunteers and 2 additional Richens Orchard volunteers (and a lovely blonde Lab named Barley!), it became a great day with a lot of work done. Hopefully we can have more days like this, especially the sun!

The Volunteers have coffee, cake and brief

From this Wednesday 1st of February we will be open 7 days a week from 10am onwards until next November. With this in mind the Volunteers had a meeting to find out what has been happening, and what will happen around the Skyline and in the Park. Luckily the meeting coincided with it snowing outside so most people were glad of the excuse to be indoors, eating cake, drinking coffee…..oh and discussing what’s happening in and around the Bath properties.

The volunteers get together to discuss affairs of state

Horton Court

Horton Court in Gloucestershire will be open to the public on Fridays and Sundays throughout July and August, having been closed for a long time. I was lucky enough to visit a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic – very Agatha Christie murder mystery/Famous Five adventures if you have an imagination like mine. The oldest part of the house dates back to Norman times and its a real mish-mash of different styles. The local church are doing teas during opening times (1-4pm) or you could bring a picnic – ginger beer seems appropriate…

BBC coverage:

Thursday Volunteers

The working day here at Prior Park has just about ended. Derek, Kirsty and Frank our dependable Thursday volunteers have all gone home after doing some very sterling work on the ‘Rotten Trail’. This is our little trail by the Summerhouse that shows how leaves and twigs break down and return to the earth as useful compost. Anyway, the trail was showing a little wear and tear and had got slightly overgrown, so with a little love and attention the trail is now as rotten as ever.
While working on the trail Kirsty noticed a fairly fresh Woodpecker hole in one of the large Beech trees we have in the area. It was probably disturbed by us working nearby.
After some very threatening black clouds this afternoon the sun has at last come out. Time to go home.

Butterflies and Sunshine

Having just got back from my holidays, where we had cool rainy weather, I returned back to Prior Park in glorious sunshine. The Butterflies seem to be out in force in the pasture and nearby Skyline. In particular we have a lot of Meadow Browns and Ringlets flying around making the most of the sun. Our remaining Cygnets (4) seem to be getting on fine and hopefully they are not effected by the suspected parasite that got to the others.
Meanwhile the rest of the Park looks jolly splendid; the volunteers have been working hard in my absence. The 18th century Shrubbery we have at the bottom of the park is just coming into its own, with the Hydrangea looking especially delicate.
It all looks just right for our ‘Capture the day’ photo competition that we are holding this Saturday the 2nd of July. Come along and have a look for yourself.

Crazy Coots and volunteers

As I sat here in this rather hot office waiting for the computer to boot up a Raven and Green woodpecker flew by, which some sort of compensation for being stuck in, I suppose. Meanwhile we are, I’m afraid down to 5 Cygnets, but the ones that are left are as bold as brass and coolly sat by the lake as Nathan tried to blow grass cuttings  away. Maybe this is their problem, they are too trusting and friendly.

Back in the middle of the lake one of our many crazy Coots is sitting firmly on another batch of eggs, they seem to be permanently sat on nests for the whole of the summer. That’s why we have a lot of them I guess!

Of course while I am stifling in the hot office our gallant Thursday volunteers are doing the real work and removing all the bramble and nettles from the Summerhouse glade, a hard and unglamorous task but they accept it with good grace and charm. What would we do without them?


Hello and welcome to the Prior Park occasional blog.  In it we hope to keep everyone up to date about what is happening here in the Garden, such as coming events, work around the grounds and what wildlife and plants can be seen.

Today started off very peacefully as I wandered around the lakes at the bottom of the Park. The Mute swans with their 9 cygnets were on the top lake patiently waiting for food (we feed them every day), a green woodpecker was feeding on the grassy banks, one of the Grey herons making it’s almost prehistoric call and a little Wren was darting back and forth from its nest in the dam, feeding its young.

Meanwhile the Mallards, Coots, Moorhens and various Gulls were going about their lives on and around lakes.

The peace was shattered by a young fairly newly fledged buzzard being mobbed by some Magpies, somewhat maligned but never the less beautiful birds.

The day then truly started as our Friday volunteers arrived, including Joel  and Nathan, 2 students from France and we all set about strimming and mowing the grass, shattering the peace in the process.


News on the cygnets, they had just heard that I was writing this blog and decided to come up into the work yard to have a look, Mum and Dad were a little concerned but in the end came up with them.

The Cygnets decided to explore the world beyond the lakes