Thursday, 3 March 2016

Astonishing art on Anglesey Abbey's Community Wall

We're sorry not have been in touch for a while, but we hope to be back a little more regularly from now on, if not quite as often as before.

Whilst Anglesey's Redwoods restaurant and reception are being upgraded, our Community Wall display area is roped off, which means the wonderful photos and artwork sent to us by our visitors are out of sight to everyone.

So where better than our occasional blog to share them with as many people as possible:

This watercolour of dahlias floating on the Lode during our Dahlia Festival was painted by Jan Williams, while Mervyn Russen sent us his unusual but atmospheric painting of Anglesey Abbey's famous silver birches, below.

If you're inspired by your visit to take up your pen, pencil or paintbrush, we'd love to see your masterpieces. Email a photo of them to us at and we'll share them here online, and on the Community Wall when it's accessible again.

Kate Boursnell
Volunteer Community Reporter

Friday, 29 May 2015

Focus on faces for Anglesey Abbey's latest photo competition

We love sharing everyone's photos of Anglesey Abbey on our Community Wall: summer flowers, spring bulbs, winter stems, autumn colours, mellow stone, glorious vistas and stunning close ups... 

But for some reason, hardly anyone ever sends us photos of our amazing statues or stone figures on the house.

We're asking everyone who visits or works at Anglesey Abbey to spend some time with our statues this June and to send us photographs of faces that catch their eye. 

All photos sent to us at will be entered into our June 'Focus on Faces' photo competition.

The competition is open to everyone. 

So whether you focus on faces that are human, mythical or animal, send your photos to:

by 30 June 2015.

We'll contact you if your photo is displayed on the Community Wall and we'll send a £10 NT gift card to one adult and one under-14 for the most striking photograph.

We hope you enjoy getting to know our statues and carvings better and we're looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Kate Boursnell
Volunteer Community Reporter
Anglesey Abbey

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cuckoo and dunnock project at Anglesey Abbey

Anglesey Abbey is playing its part in a research project to find out whether birds discourage cuckoos from laying eggs in their nests.

Cuckoos are known as ‘brood parasites’. They lay a single egg in other birds’ nests, then leave the host birds to rear the cuckoo chicks. The host birds’ eggs or chicks don’t survive. Dunnocks are a favourite host bird and we have several dunnocks nesting here in the grounds at Anglesey Abbey.

Jenny York from Cambridge University’s Dept of Zoology is looking for the answers to 2 questions about dunnock behaviour:

1. Do dunnocks respond differently to cuckoos than to other nest predators like magpies?
2. Do dunnocks’ alarm calls affect how other dunnocks nearby respond to cuckoos?

Jenny will be using model cuckoos and magpies and recordings of dunnock alarm calls to answer these questions.

Photos copyright North East Wildlife.

Kate Boursnell

Volunteer Community Reporter

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Ground force...

The villagers in Reach put in a ground force effort last weekend planting a hedge at Reach 24 along the front edge. Funded by the Woodlands Trust and The National Trust. 

There were plans for all day planting, when I arrived at 9.30 things were well underway. I get going at 11.30 to make into Cambridge for a volunteering fair but things were all most complete as you can see from the pics below.

The hedge should provided a nice barrier between the track and the cricket pitch; meaning the fence will not need to replaced in a few years as by then the hedge should be established. It will also provide good extra habitat and berries for wildlife. 

Lois Baker 
Community Ranger
Wicken Fen

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Building community bridges....

Literally! The second bridge at the gutter bridge community woodland was built on Friday so walkers wanting to enjoy the wood at the edge of Swaffham Bulbeck can now happy cross the inner ditch with out loosing a welly!

After  morning of heaving, bolting, screwing, preserving and by village working group members and me and Maddie the first user of the bridge turned up at just the right time!

We were also able to instal an NT omega there as well. 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Valentines TLC for the trees at White Fen

This valentines the trees at White Fen got some extra care and attention. 

Planted from 2010-2014 there are now over 6000 saplings at the Lode and Long Meadow Community woodland on White Fen. To give them the best chance of survival our team of volunteers spent the  morning straightening their canes, replacing their guards and clearing ants nest out from the old guards. A full on tree spa treatment!

The morning ended with a campfire lunch and marshmallows for the hard workers!

To find out more about White Fen or becoming a volunteer tree checker please contact Lois:


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Willow weaving wonders!

The community volunteer team at Anglesey Abbey got together on a beautifully chilly February day to carry out some much needed repairs to the sensory tunnel. 

Under the expert instruction of Jane Frost, a local willow-weaving guru, we wove away! Maddie even had a go sawing – a great way to keep warm!! 

We have added supports, as our poor willow tunnel was starting to wilt, so hopefully our tunnel will cope with the hundreds of children who love to run through on their way to the treehouse! We have added some circular peep-holes too.

With the left-over willow, we have run some willow weaving with visiting families which have gone down really well.

Why not pop down to the treehouse to inspect our handiwork?!  

Sophie Atkinson
Family Volunteering Project Co-ordinator and Community Engagement Assistant
Anglesey Abbey 

Photography © Sophie Atkinson