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

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

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

The Worst Children's Jobs in History - at Quarry Bank

Wed 24 May 2017
10:30-16:30
Inspired by Sir Tony Robinson's Worst Jobs in History series, find out about the worst children's jobs at Quarry Bank this summer

Bob-in Sessions

Wed 24 May 2017
14:30-15:15
Join us at 11:30am on Mondays and 2:30pm each day Tuesday-Friday for a special talk or tour from one of our teams.

Behind the scenes - Have a go

Sat 27 May 2017
13:00-15:00
One Saturday a month we invite you join us to have a go and try out new things at Quarry Bank Led by our expert team, this is a real opportunity to find out more about this fascinating place.

May Half Term - The Worst Children's Jobs Job Shop

Mon 29 May 2017
11:00-16:00
Visit the Worst Children's Jobs Job Shop to answer the quiz, dress up and find out what your perfect career would have been.

Baby and Toddler - Storytelling and Play session

Sat 10 Jun 2017
09:30-10:15
Bring your little ones to Quarry Bank, for a special storytelling and play session just for them. Please book your free tickets in advance.

"Loom and Doom" Murder Mystery Dinner

Fri 16 Jun 2017
19:00-22:00
There's been a murder at the Mill, who's behind the crime? Enjoy a two course dinner as Absolute Murder play out "Loom and Doom". Can you solve the mystery as a host of suspicious characters from 1834 weave and spin a plot of murder and intrigue?