National Trust Podcast: series four

Codger's Fort on the estate at Wallington, Northumberland

Listen to series four of the National Trust Podcast. With a new episode released every other week, we’ll be going behind the scenes at the buildings, gardens and landscapes we care for to uncover new stories.

With each episode presented by an expert guide, this series will unearth fascinating tales from Tudor folklore, take you high up into the treetops, explain the significance of apple seeds in space, put Blackpool's heritage under the spotlight, plus much more. Along the way we'll be meeting astronaut Tim Peake, fossil hunters on the Isle of Wight and a family of tree climbers. 

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Food laid out on a picnic blanket

Taste along with Wainwright

In our first taste along episode, Ranger Kate Martin and her mystery guest experience a Lake District walk in an intriguingly new way.

Episode 87: Taste along with Wainwright

Visitors in the house wearing masks at Tyntesfield, Somerset

Behind the scenes of reopening

After one of the most challenging six months, we're all adapting to the new normal. Join us as we take a look at the events and people who have made welcoming you back possible.

Episode 86: Behind the scenes of reopening

Blackberries growing at Trelissick, Cornwall

Nature's tasty secrets

September is the perfect time to discover treats from nature's very own larder, from edible nettles to berries with all the flavours of a sweet shop. Join Ranger Kate Martin as she meets Fred the Forager for a late summer stroll.

Episode 85: Nature's tasty secrets

Agatha Christie and her family sat outside of their holiday home Greenway

100 years of mystery

While many of us are familiar with Agatha Christie’s characters, just how well do we know Agatha the person? As we celebrate 100 years of Agatha’s stories, we take a look back at the woman behind the books, and her grandson shares his memories of their holidays together at Greenway house in Devon.

Episode 84: 100 years of mystery

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Teleri Fielden

A portrait of the National Trust

In 2017 Teleri Fielden started her National Trust shepherdess scholarship deep in the valleys of Snowdonia. We revisit her three years on to find out if the early mornings, harsh winters and constant rain have dampened her spirits or given her the drive to prove she’s got what it takes.

Episode 83: A portrait of the National Trust

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

The Great Anthropause

While we were all indoors during lockdown, stories of our wild neighbours bouncing back emerged across the globe. In this episode, podcast producer, Sean Douglas visits the Isle of Wight to investigate reports of wildlife taking over the island while humans were away. We also explore whether there will be a long-term positive impact on how we co-exist with the nature around us.

Episode 82: The Great Anthropause

Tim Peake reading Isaac Newton's Principia in space

Pips in Space featuring Tim Peake

From small seeds grow mighty oaks. This a phrase that astronaut Tim Peake knows well. In this episode we’ll explore how nature inspired and enabled man’s (and woman’s) most epic adventures.

Episode 81: Pips in Space featuring Tim Peake

Surfers on a beach

Meet the silver surfers

Zoom, Whatsapp, Instagram and TikTok are no longer just Millennial buzzwords. For many senior citizens social media has become a part of daily life. Negotiating our new world over the past few months has meant many of those who may have traditionally shunned technology are learning new skills. In this episode, over-60s share how their lives have been transformed by tech, from keeping in touch with loved ones to adventuring to far-flung parts of the world.

Episode 80: Meet the silver surfers

Summer solstice

Midsummer magic and mayhem

For millennia, midsummer has been steeped in tales of mystery and magic. It inspired the construction of great temples, the lighting of bonfires and was even said to have caused people to act in strange and surprising ways. In this episode, we explore the meaning behind the legends of the summer solstice. And we discover why so many people feel a mystical connection to this time of year.

Episode 79: Midsummer magic and mayhem

Eden ISS

The ice shelf garden

In this episode we’re bringing you another story to inspire you during lockdown. Paul Zabel, an engineer and novice gardener, was sent to work in his first greenhouse in one of the most extreme locations on Earth. At the end of his isolation, as Paul eased his way back into society, he realised he had discovered some valuable life lessons which we could learn from as we go through the same motions.

Episode 78: The ice shelf garden

Silhouette of a musician against the sunrise

DAWNS and the dawn chorus

In this episode we share more ideas on how to keep in tune with nature during lockdown. This time Andy Beer, author of Every Day Nature, gives us his top tips on how to grow a deeper understanding of the dawn chorus. You’ll also learn how to get involved with DAWNS, one of the Trust’s most ambitious musical mass participation events happening on the 16 May.

Episode 77: DAWNS and the dawn chorus

Balcony gardener, Alice Vincent on her balcony

How gardens heal 

When faced with heartache, music journalist Alice Vincent found a surprising remedy in her tiny balcony garden at her London flat. In this episode, Alice explains how even the most unlikely spaces – from concrete yards to windowsills - can be transformed into beautiful ‘micro-gardens’. She also shares her personal experience of the positive effect gardening can have on our wellbeing.

Episode 76: How gardens heal

View over Wastwater lake at night, Cumbria

Things that go click in the night

In this episode, presenter Jo Dyson heads to the Lake District for a night of camping and stargazing. But when things don’t go to plan, she swaps her tent for a tripod. Jo turns to astrophotographer, Steven Hanna for a masterclass in photography. Listen to discover how you can use your camera to shed light on the secrets of the night.

Please note, this episode was recorded before the government coronavirus restrictions were in place.

Episode 75: Things that go click in the night

Ranger Iain Gray takes Jo Dyson on a walk in Wasdale, Cumbria

A beginner's guide to winter walking

Armed with a map, compass and warm flask, presenter Jo Dyson embarks on a walk to experience the remote and barren beauty of the Lake District. Jo meets the Wasdale Mountain Rescue team to learn how to stay safe on a mountain walk and discovers why the winter months are a surprisingly rewarding time to explore the outdoors.

Episode 73: A beginner's guide to winter walking

Cherry blossom

Bonus episode: A toast to blossom

As spring approaches and trees across the UK burst into blossom, why not make this special time of year a regular date in your nature calendar? We chat to Andy Beer, author of the new book, Every Day Nature.

Bonus: A toast to blossom

Books, a candlestick and a framed photograph on top of a coat rack at the Birmingham Back to Backs

Drama at the Back to Backs

Britain’s answer to a housing crisis caused by the industrial revolution, Back to Back houses were known for their poor conditions, cramped design and bad sanitation. But what was life really like for the people that lived there? Join us as we take an immersive tour of the last remaining Back to Back houses in the UK.

Episode 73: Drama at the Back to Backs

Volunteer holding small fragments of plastic found during The Big Beach Clean at Woolacombe, North Devon

Special: Fixing the plastic problem

Listen to a special episode from our Countryfile Live 2019 podcast. This new series brings you some of the best moments from debates at the BBC’s Countryfile Live event at Blenheim Palace. In this episode, Countryfile presenter Tom Heap and a panel of experts consider how we might fix the plastic problem.

Episode 72: Special: Fixing the plastic problem

Lead ranger Duncan Norman gives presenter Lucie Green a tour of Cragside's hydro system

Special: 50% Renewable episode one

The beginning of this year marks the start of a year-long celebration of the National Trust's 125th anniversary. In this special episode we bring part one from the new podcast series we’re launching on sustainability. The 50% Renewable series explores how we're working towards meeting 50 per cent of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2021.

Episode 71: Special: 50% renewable episode one

Close up of inscription on Spinet by John Hancock, London, at Fenton House in London

Musical time machines

Tucked away in London, the Benton Fetcher Collection at Fenton House and Garden is a rare treasure that boasts restored and working early keyboard instruments – some of which are nearly 500 years old. Guided by the Keeper of Instruments, National Trust curator, James Grasby is transported to our musical past and learns what it takes to preserve these exquisite instruments and their unique sounds.

Episode 70: Musical time machines

Wild swimming

Wild swimming at 'Miami Beach'

As winter approaches, the hardiest swimmers still enjoy an invigorating splash in wild places. In this episode, Coastal Officer Kate Martin heads to Carding Mill Valley where she’s introduced to the Shropshire Wild Swimmers and Dippers. She’s challenged to a refreshing dip and discovers how open waters bring a sense of freedom to your mind, body and soul.

Episode 69: Wild swimming at 'Miami Beach'

Sensory walker Julian Jackson with National Trust coastal officer Kate Martin

A lesson in sensory walking

Time spent in the great outdoors can be an immersive experience. But how often do we stop and take the time to really absorb the sounds, touch and feel of nature? Walker, Julian Jackson senses things differently to most people. In this episode, he shows us how to create a deeper connection with the natural world.

Episode 68: A lesson in sensory walking

Exploring the darker side of Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire

Halloween special: The secrets in the walls

In this Halloween special, curator James Grasby visits 500-year old Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire, to find out how the Tudors protected their homes against evil. James meets house staff who reveal strange relics of our past. And he comes face to face with a mystery that astonishingly lay hidden in plain sight for centuries – until someone looked closer.

Episode 67: The secrets in the walls

“Buggy walkers” Jo and Rachel get to grips with new challenges at Stourhead, Wiltshire

Adventures in motherhood

The places we care for give you quality time with the people you love and the chance to forge new friendships. In this episode we follow Joanna and Rachel, two mothers that met at a charity-run buggy walking group at Stourhead in Wiltshire, as they embark on one of the National Trust’s most unique adventures.

Episode 66: Adventures in motherhood

Professional tree climber James Aldred with presenter Jo Dyson

The secret world of treetops

Taking time away from his expeditions to the Amazon, professional tree climber James Aldred leads presenter Jo Dyson on a treetop adventure in the slightly less exotic garden at Tyntesfield in Somerset. Jo realises that tree climbing is not just for kids and discovers that we're all more connected to trees than we might think.

Episode 65: The secret world of treetops

Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and our coastal projects manager Daniel Leggett explore Northey Island

Special: People's Landscapes episode one

In this special episode we bring you part one of our People’s Landscapes podcast series. It’s Northey Island, 991 AD. Viking raiders clash in bloody battle with the Anglo-Saxon army defending their land. Dr Eleanor Barraclough, lecturer in medieval history at Durham University, explores how this violent incident resulted in a mashup of cultures we can still see today.

Episode 64: People's Landscapes

Richard Williams, Illuminations Manager at Lightworks with National Trust curator James Grasby

The heritage question

As many of the places in our care open their doors for the Heritage Open Days festival – an annual event celebrating history, architecture, and culture – we head to Blackpool to explore what heritage means to us all. National Trust curator James Grasby goes behind the scenes to witness the thrill of the Blackpool Illuminations – a spectacle that’s firmly rooted in the past but continues to shape attitudes towards cultural heritage today.

Episode 63: The heritage question