We're currently working on a project to replace the leaking roof on our mansion house. Building work takes place throughout 2015 and we will be remaining during this time, with new exhibitions and activities on offer. We'll also be installing a new biomass boiler.
The major conservation work needed to replace our roof and introduce a new biomass boiler is expected to cost around £3.8m. We have been fundraising towards this and have been hosting selling raffle tickets, undertaking personal challenges and encouraging donations. Thank you to everyone who's supported us so far.
Thanks to funding from Cory Environmental Trust, we are clearing and re-developing the former 17th-century terraces, part of the old Dutch-inspired water garden. This previously hidden area now forms a link between the garden and the park.
As an ancient deer park, we look after a herd of up to 200 fallow deer, which can often be seen on the East Front or out in the park. Our park rangers and volunteers help protect the fawns in the summer, monitor the deer rut in the autumn and feed them extra supplies in the winter months.
Alongside our formal garden, we have St Nichol's perry orchard - full of pear trees with origins dating back 150 years or more. We recently uncovered ancient pear trees in the terraces and have trained Black Worcester pears to grow on the stable wall.
The 17th-century mansion house is teeming with interesting stories - from tales about how founder William Blathwayt came to own Dyrham Park to our Dyrham at War exhibition which looks at how people from the estate and village were affected by war.
Our house team works daily to preserve the collection of paintings and historical artefacts. During the winter months, we close the house on Wed and Thu for conservation work. This includes cleaning paintings, logging photographs and keeping the dust at bay.
With 3½ miles of dry stone wall to look after, our park team uses traditional Cotswold materials and methods to create, repair and develop the walls, an important part of managing the deer park. Our experts also teach others this age-old skill in short courses for visitors.
Our 270-acre parkland is home to hundreds of trees, including tulip and walnut trees. Our park team looks after these trees, planting new saplings, building tree guards and caring for the trees as they grow. We also work with visitors on commemorative tree planting.
We have a very special wildflower meadow, called Whitefield, next to our car park which comes alive in late spring/early summer with a wealth of colourful flowers. In recent years we've been fortunate enough to witness bee orchids among the grasses, buttercups and clover.