National Trust podcasts dig into garden histories

The National Trust has launched a new podcast series exploring historic gardens, walking spots, and houses.

In the first three episodes, Alan Power, the National Trust’s head gardener at Stourhead, Wiltshire, takes listeners behind the scenes at three National Trust gardens to meet the teams of staff and volunteers who help to look after them for the nation.

In episode one (released 10 August), Power explores the parterre and fragrant Rose Garden at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire, and uncovers the mystery of a newly discovered subterranean sound chamber. Set high above the Thames, Cliveden has played host to intrigue, decadence and the fame and misfortune of Britain’s political elite.

Episode two (31 August) immerses listeners in the landscape, monuments and lakes of Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire. Created by the ground-breaking landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the 18th-century garden and its paths, monuments and sculptures hold many hidden meanings.

Power heads to Northern Ireland in episode three (21 September), visiting the garden at Mount Stewart, County Down.  Designed by ‘society’s queen’ Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry, and shaped by her sense of adventure, the garden is home to exotic plants more usually found in the jungles of Burma or the Australian outback.

Sean Douglas, National Trust podcast producer, said: "The podcasts are a brilliant way to experience the Trust in a new way. If you love history, gardens and hearing less well-known stories about historic place, these are for you.

"By speaking to the experts who look after these landscapes every day – our staff and volunteers – listeners will get an intimate insight into our gardens, told by those who know them best’."

In addition to each main episode, shorter podcasts will delve further into the rich history of these gardens, bringing listeners extra content from Cliveden (17 & 24 August) Stowe (7 & 14 September) and Mount Stewart (28 September & 5 October).

Six more podcasts will be released later this year as the charity looks to reach new audiences with relevant and accessible content created by its expert staff and volunteers.

Three podcasts will focus on walking and the outdoors, with episodes recorded at Kinder Scout in the Peak District; Snowdonia, Wales and Formby, Liverpool.  The final three instalments in the series explore art and literature at Shaw’s Corner, Hertfordshire; Wordsworth House, Cumbria and Greenway, Devon. 

Listeners can stream or download each episode on iTunes, SoundCloud and Acast.

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