News

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Puffins on the Farne Islands, Northumberland
Wetland landscapes attract a variety of wildlife

'Super' National Nature Reserve created in Somerset  

We're celebrating the creation of the Somerset Wetlands, which will protect rare wildlife, including skylark, bittern and avocets. The declaration of the nature reserve, which brings together six reserves on the Somerset Levels and Moors, kicks off Natural England's Festival of National Nature Reserves. We'll care for the site in collaboration with Natural England, Environment Agency, RSPB, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Hawk and Owl Trust and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Senior Propagator Ellie Pay inserts rhododendron cuttings into a hydropod propagation unit.

Plant Conservation Centre turns 40 

This month we're celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Plant Conservation Centre, which plays a vital role in conserving rare and historically important plants for the gardens and parklands in our care. The centre, which began life in 1982, is even more important as plant collections age and as we experience the impacts of climate change.

Tapestries on three walls in The Vyne's Tapestry Room with fireplace

Rare surviving tapestries return to The Vyne 

Full of colourful scenes and fantastical animals, these highly decorative Soho tapestries captured how Europeans imagined the 'Far East' in the early 18th century. They were removed eight years ago for safekeeping when a succession of storms caused damage to the former Tudor powerhouse. On inspection their fragile state was revealed, from degrading yarns to warped backings that were putting strain on the fabric. After several years of conservation the tapestries are back on display at The Vyne in Hampshire.

A native white-clawed crayfish at Wallington, Northumberland

Refuge created for endangered crayfish 

The white-clawed crayfish, one of the UK's most endangered species, has been given a fresh chance of survival thanks to a refuge created at the Wallington Estate in Northumberland. We'll be taking up to 100 of the crustaceans from the River Wansbeck to an old cattle drinking hole, which has been made into an isolated and self-contained area known as an 'Ark' site. The decline of white-clawed crayfish is largely due to the rise of American signal crayfish, which spread disease and monopolise food and habitat.

An adult clothes moth

Common pests at the places in our care 

Last year our staff identified and logged 56,742 insects at the places we care for. The five most common insect pests found in 2021 remain the same as those recorded in 2020 but the webbing clothes moth has knocked silverfish out of the number-one spot. Learn more about these small but destructive creatures and discover how we reduce the damage they cause to houses and collections.

A ranger and volunteer planting a grafted tree inside a cage in the ochard

Supporting the Queen’s Green Canopy 

This year, we’re supporting the Queen’s Green Canopy at the places in our care to mark the Platinum Jubilee. We’re creating a legacy that honours Her Majesty’s 70-year reign. 70 unique and inspiring Jubilee tree planting projects will take place to mark this significant moment in history.

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