Behind the scenes
'So what else do you do when we've gone home?'
We're often asked what we do when the site is closed, or what goes on off the visitor route or after our visitors have gone back to the safety of the mainland.
Here is just a sample of the many things that go on away from visitors' eyes.
Repairs and maintenance
The Ness is very exposed so buildings and equipment need lots of maintenance. Vehicles are 'winterised' and given protective wax coats each year, buildings made frost proof and come spring redecoration is done. Winter storms mean patrols of the beach to check for erosion and uncovered ordnance. Winter flooding can cause damage to access tracks and any major repairs to these or buildings are carried out in the winter.
Monitoring and recording
We have skilled and knowledgeable volunteers and staff who survey the wildlife. Every weekend volunteers from the Landguard Bird Observatory arrive to catch, ring and record the birds on site, and also set the moth trap overnight to record the species found come the morning. Each year detailed survey work is undertaken in the Lantern Marsh to monitor regeneration of the salt marsh. Even our seaweed has been surveyed.
Discovering and learning
We are still learning much about the site, particularly from those who worked here or had family who did. We make ourselves available to anyone with something to add to our archive of stories and materials. We still receive materials, including original artefacts and documents to add to our archive, some of which are used in new displays. New objects often come to light on site.
Press, television and film
The Ness is a fascinating place, and we work with local radio and television news, providing access for filming, giving interviews, and checking press articles. We often receive enquiries about filming for television drama and even feature films, and can be kept busy looking after presenters, actors and crew while on site. And then there’s all the usual publicity work, including updating our webpages.