Exotic Guests and Alien Invaders at Quarry Bank

The main bed of the Quarry Bank garden

Quarry Bank is a place with dramatic natural features and a stunning garden and estate. However, where cultivated exotic guests in the gardens create a beautiful landscape; other unwelcome flora and fauna are seen as invaders taking over our ’native’ gardens, woodlands and river. This exhibition, running from 24 September - 20 November 2016, explores how Quarry Bank manages this contradiction. Why is a rhododendron inside the garden a cherished specimen whereas outside the fence it can be an invasive pest?

Many of the plants that we admire have travelled round the world to be here. These exotic guests, brought in by plant collectors to enhance and brighten our gardens, have taken root in our hearts and are inextricably entwined with our perception of the natural world.  

In some cases however, these exotic guests have characteristics which have allowed them to flourish in a way which was not anticipated, and they have spread into the wild, outcompeting other plants and becoming invasive.

This Giant Hogweed artwork will feature alongside new commissions from artists Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright
Colour drawing of Giant Hogweed
This Giant Hogweed artwork will feature alongside new commissions from artists Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright

In this exhibition, find our more about the plants and animals which are considered invasive and what the National Trust does to manage them within our landscapes. Then take another view through the words and art of Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright, authors of of Alien Invaders: A Guide to Non-Native Species of the Britishe Isles Volume 1. This publication, a cross pollination of fact and fiction, takes the form of an illustrated natural guide and is a thought provoking look at the language and rhetoric used about these plants.

This sketch by Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright will be on display along with other artwork
An envelope sketch showing a child dwarfed by Giant Hogweed
This sketch by Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright will be on display along with other artwork

Alongside the artwork will be a rogues gallery of invasives, a ranger's desk where you can explore this subject in more depth and information about the parasites which can invade humans.

We are also excited to have the opportunity to showcase 'The Rising' a contemporary art film by Nick Jordan. You can watch the trailer for 'The Rising' below. 

" The Rising is a short film which depicts an invasive alien species, Giant Hogweed, as it rapidly colonizes a lowland riverbank in northern England. Part natural history, part sci-fi, The Rising features an atmospheric soundtrack score by Lord Mongo, and presents the alien interloper as both a dangerous, toxic menace and impressive, natural wonder."
- Visual artist and film maker Nick Jordan


Upcoming events

Make and Take

Sat 02 Feb 2019
13:00-15:00
Give us a helping hand at making sessions where you can make one for Quarry Bank and one for you to take home.

Baby and Toddler - Storytelling and Play session

Sat 09 Feb 2019
09:30-10:15
Bring your little ones to Quarry Bank for a special storytelling and play session just for them. Suitable for children 6 months - 4 years. Please book your tickets in advance.

February Half Term - Trouble at t' Mill

Mon 18 Feb 2019
11:00-16:00
Become a factory inspector and try out the brand new family trail in the mill created by Philip Ardagh and Jamie Littler.

Have-a-go - Nature Explorers

Sat 23 Feb 2019
13:00-15:00
Every month in Spring you can have a go at a wild outdoor activity at Quarry Bank. From pond-dipping to wild art, there's always a new adventure to enjoy.

Rights of the Child

Sat 06 Apr 2019
10:30-17:00
In this new exhibition, explore the experiences of the hundreds of children who worked at Quarry Bank and discover how children's rights have changed over time.

Spring Holidays - Right to Play

Sat 06 Apr 2019
11:00-16:00
Join us as we launch our Rights of the Child exhibition with two weeks of activities all about the right to play.