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

A Woman's Work is Never Done exhibition

Sun 26 Mar 2017
10:30-17:00
From the girls who lived and worked in the Apprentice House to the ladies in the Greg family, women form the backbone of the Quarry Bank story. This exhibition shines a light on the experiences of the women and girls whose stories have often been...

Mother's Day Afternoon Tea

Sun 26 Mar 2017
12:00-13:00
Treat your Mum on Mother's Day with a delicious afternoon tea at Quarry Bank. Our afternoon tea includes a selection of dainty sandwiches, handmade scones with jam and cream, Victoria sponge, lemon posset and mini raspberry tarts. Free glass of...

Bob-in Sessions

Mon 27 Mar 2017
14:30-15:15
Join us at 2:30pm each day Monday-Friday for a special talk or tour from one of our teams.

Spring holiday fun

Mon 03 Apr 2017
11:00-16:00
Get creative with textiles in the mill. Have a go at weaving a basket, braiding a friendship bracelet or help to create a rag rug on our peg loom at this event exploring all things textiles.

Baby and Toddler - Storytelling and Play session

Sat 08 Apr 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 ticket in advance.

Cadbury Egg Hunt

Fri 14 Apr 2017
10:30-16:00
Take part in our annual trail and enjoy some Easter fun, including a Cadbury's chocolate reward. £2 per trail. Normal admission charges apply to this event.