Following the government announcement of a four-week lockdown in England, we're pleased we can keep the outdoor spaces we care for open, including coast and countryside sites and car parks, as well as gardens and parklands.
Our gardens and parks, shops, and coast and countryside car parks are also open in Northern Ireland.
You can still enjoy takeaway food and drink from our café and food outlets in England and Northern Ireland.
- We’ve started reopening our places in Wales in line with Welsh Government legislation. Under the new Welsh Government legislation, places are only open to Wales residents and to groups of four or less (excluding children under 11) unless they are from the same household.
- In line with the latest government guidance, we’ve closed our houses, shops and holiday accommodation in England, and all National Trust houses in Northern Ireland are now closed.
Before visiting, please always check local and national government guidance on travelling. You can check the property webpage in case of local restrictions. We're following government advice closely and will reopen more places as soon as we can.
We’re still working hard to keep our gardens looking their best. But with fewer staff and volunteers to help out, things may look a little different on your visit. Please bear with us as we adjust to these challenging times.
Many decades ago, a lot of kitchen gardens had fallen into disuse and disrepair. In recent years, we’ve been able to restore these gardens thanks to you, our members, supporters and visitors.
Your support and generosity has helped develop gardens that are not only thriving with fresh produce but are also enjoyable days out and educational tools for volunteers and local communities.
Restoring a walled garden
Restoring a walled kitchen garden can take many years.The walls might be crumbling and need repointing or rebuilding. Paths have often been ploughed up or even concreted. Underground there are complex drainage systems that collect rainwater from rooves or redirect streams into a central dipping pool.
The ancillary buildings connected with a walled garden are fascinating and all have a specific purpose. Glass house, mushroom house, root store, boiler room and bothy all need careful research and restoration.
Once all this is in hand, the crucial job of preparing the soil can begin. Sometimes it has been contaminated with waste or overrun with perennial weeds. With any luck a couple of years of growing green manures will bring it back to good health. Pigs have even been deployed as living ploughs at the walled garden at Attingham Park in Shropshire.
Returning the fruit trees to the walls really marks the turning point in these complex and rewarding restoration projects. Once the apricots, peaches, pears and cherries are back, you really know that life is returning to a cherished part of our horticultural heritage
With your continued donations to look after the gardens in our care, we can ensure that gardens like these can go on providing seasonal and sustainable food as well as benefit those who visit now and in the future.