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Green Minds project at Saltram

The view looking up at the branches of a mighty tree at Saltram, Devon
Looking up at the branches overhead | © National Trust Images / David Levenson

Saltram continues to put nature at the heart of its decisions with the Green Minds Plymouth project. Find out how the project has helped to change and shape Saltram for future generations.

What is Green Minds?

The project started in 2019 in collaboration with Plymouth City Council and other local organisations, which aimed to develop and rewild green areas around Plymouth.

The funding by Urban Innovative Actions and the European Union ending in August 2023, aimed to challenge existing attitudes towards nature – how we think about it, how we engage with it, how we work with it.

Find out more about the Green Minds project and some of the original plans across Plymouth in this video and on the Green Minds Plymouth website.

Family walking through lime avenue at Saltram in Devon
Spring in the garden at Saltram | © National Trust Images Paul Harris

How did the project help us here at Saltram?

The project had three key areas of focus at Saltram: Extending, Improving and Research


The exisiting Orchard here at Saltram was one of the key focus areas to re-purpose for nature. New fruiting trees were planted in the orchard which will one day provide a space for communities to harvest crops. An engagement classroom space has also been built, which will provide a space for local young people and schools to further engage in nature outdoors.


Existing and new habitats were improved by building a nature corridor along the top of the estate where the 'old road' into Saltram once was. The corridoor has not only provided a new home to flora and fauna, but it has also been the home to some amazing artwork from students at the University Arts College Plymouth.


Lots of research has taken place into some of the 'lost gardens' here at Saltram. The main one being the lost valley garden along the Dell walk. This work will help with future projects to re-instate this area and tell the stories of this garden to visitors coming to the estate. In the future, this will provide improved visitor access and also helps people to connect with nature in a completely unspoilt natural environment.

Project catch-up webinar

You can learn a little more about some of the previous work that was done at Saltram in June 2021, by watching the National Trust Ranger Webinar,

In the webinar, the Saltram and Plymbridge Ranger team discussed a variety of ways that the Green Minds project was influencing their work. Topics ranged from peregrines, orchards and woodland management to volunteers and ecological surveying.

‘We’re thrilled to be part of this great project and looking forward to working with and learning more from our expert partners who provide so much knowledge, energy and exciting ideas to help people and organisations in Plymouth connect with nature.’

– Jez McDermott, General Manager, Saltram & Plymbridge

How can I get involved?

Even though the Green Minds Plymouth Project will come to and end from August 2023. There are various ways you can continue to help the National Trust and Saltram by volunteering here with us. Please check the volunteering website page and see how you can be part of our team.

A close up of a ranger's cupped hands holding a torpid dormouse at Killerton, Devon
Ranger holding a torpid dormouse | © National Trust Images / Emma Jones

Green Minds at Saltram updates

June 2023

Orchard update June 2023

We are currently in the process of constructing an accessible outdoor shelter/classroom space in Saltram's orchard. 

The construction is expected to take 4 weeks from Monday 12th June 2023. 

So what is being built?

This wonderful new space complete with composting toilet and new accessible paths will become the place for community groups to take part in nature based activities. It will be a space to learn and unwind and have fun whilst engaging with the beautiful orchards surroundings. 

A girl carrying a little boy on her back while smiling and walking through daffodils and tall grass. There are some blossoming orchard trees around them.
Orchard classroom | © ©National Trust Images/Rob Coleman
A gloved hand lifting a painting off of a wall to reveal the original dark red wallpaper colour behind it


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Our partners

European Regional Development Fund partner

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) provides funding to public and private bodies in all EU regions to reduce economic, social and territorial disparities. The Fund supports investments through dedicated national or regional programmes.

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