Live updates

National Trust: Access to beaches could be reduced

The National Trust trust fears access to Bantham beach and the Avon estuary could be reduced and the coastline could be at risk of inappropriate development if another buyer snaps up the estate, which is on the open market.

The Trust has already been able to commit £4.6 million from its Neptune campaign to protect coastal areas, but urgently needs to raise another £2.6 million to buy the beach and estuary and pay initial management and conservation costs.

This is a magical place, a true jewel on the South West coast.We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to permanently secure and protect the landscape of one of the least spoilt coastal sites and secure its future for everyone to enjoy.

If we don't raise the money then the future of Bantham beach and the Avon estuary is uncertain and this stretch of coastline might one day be disrupted by inappropriate management or development.

– Mark Harold, National Trust director for the South West

If it buys the land, it plans to maintain access for visitors and conserve the landscape of the flooded river valley, enhancing the oak woodlands that sweep down to the estuary and sowing wildflower rich meadows.

National Trust appeal for £2.56m to buy 'magical' coast

An urgent public appeal to raise £2.6 million has been launched by The National Trust to help it buy a "magical" stretch of coastline for the nation.

National Trust launches appeal for £2.56m to buy 'magical' coast. Credit: James Dobson/National Trust Images/PA Wire

The trust wants to buy Bantham beach and the Avon estuary in south Devon, to maintain quality access to the sandy beach for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit each year and to protect the landscape along the unspoilt coastal site for nature.

A surfer on Bantham beach. Credit: Steven Haywood/National Trust/PA Wire

The beach, nestling in the South Hams, has panoramic views over Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island which, with its Art Deco hotel and access by "sea tractor" at high tide, is the famous setting for Agatha Christie novels and TV adaptations.

Advertisement

Rare violet rediscovered after being lost for a decade

A tiny rare violet has been rediscovered after over a decade in a survey at Britain's oldest nature reserve.

Viola persicifolia
Viola persicifolia has blueish-white flowers and grows to a maximum of little over an inch. Credit: National Trust/PA Wire

According to the National Trust, the fen violet (Viola persicifolia) is known to exist at only three sites in the wild in the UK.

One of these is Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, where it had not been seen since 2003 but was rediscovered during a botanical survey this week.

Seeds of the plant can lie dormant in the ground for many years and will only grow when the ground has been disturbed and it has the right weather conditions.

The violet was first recorded at Wicken Fen in 1860 and was rediscovered in the 1980s, having vanished for nearly 30 years, before disappearing again in 2003.

National Trust opens Big Brother house to the public

The National Trust has opened up the Big Brother house to the public.

The custodian of many of the UK's most important properties is giving visitors the chance to peruse the custom-built house across two days.

The living area at the National Trust gala opening of the Big Brother House in Elstree Studios, Borehamwood Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

The house, on a plot at Elstree TV Studios, has been home to personalities such as footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, Take That's Mark Owen and singer La Toya Jackson during Celebrity Big Brother over the years.

Read more: Big Brother house to open its doors to the public

Big Brother house to open its doors to the public

The National Trust has announced it will open up the Big Brother house to the public.

The custodian of many of the UK's most important properties will give visitors the chance to peruse the custom-built house across two days later this month.

The Big Brother house.
The Big Brother house will be open to the public across two days later this month, Credit: Channel 5/PA Wire

The house, on a plot at Elstree TV Studios, has been home to personalities such as footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, Take That's Mark Owen and singer La Toya Jackson during Celebrity Big Brother over the years.

Former MP Ann Widdecombe said she was "saddened" by the move and suggested the National Trust should concentrate on properties that have "stood the test of time".

National Trust claimed course would impact site

The National Trust claimed that building a £100 million golf course near Giant's Causeway could have a serious impact on the UNESCO designated world heritage site.

Their legal challenge was dismissed and more than a decade after the initial planning application was launched, Mr Justice Weatherup gave the go-ahead to the project which will be about a mile-and-a-half away from the Causeway.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Today's top stories