Heritage Open Day

Jade Oliver

Welcome to this week’s blog which sees Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust participate in Horncastle’s Annual Heritage Open Day.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Banovallum House and grounds form the scenic backdrop for guest speakers, practical workshops and guided tours – all free of charge! Catherine and I join the team, helping to prepare and host an interesting events programme.

A series of posters are displayed around Horncastle, whilst flags adorn the grounds of Banovallum House. The conference room transforms into an auditorium and the front office hosts botanical themed displays.

The #LoveLincsPlants (LLP) project partnership of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the Sir Joseph Banks Society, proudly celebrate Lincolnshire’s rich botanical heritage. Our first talk by Paul Scott discusses Sir Joseph Banks. The glorious Lincolnshire landscapes and a strong maternal influence clearly shape Banks’ formative years. It soon becomes apparent just why Sir Joseph Banks was arguably the most influential figure of his generation.

Our second talk by Dr Fred Rumsey of the Natural History Museum focused on Lincolnshire’s diverse flora and pioneering botantists. Both talks attracted 63 visitors, including three potential botanists aged 18 – 35 (LLP’s target audience). Visitors attended from as far afield as Cambridge and Peterborough.

A series of practical workshops aim to teach new skills. Conservation Officer, Mark Schofield ably demonstrates the tradition of scything. I’m pleased to report that no-one met the grim reaper himself! Communications Officer, Jade Oliver skillfully presents the art of macro-photography. Visitors produce closeup photos using a variety of objects including leaves and shells. Also, the self-guided tours of Banovallum House’s nature reserve in the heart of Horncastle are very popular.

Mounted ground ivy

Mounted ground ivy - Simon Winter

The nearby Sir Joseph Banks Centre hosts an exhibition of the LLP project’s collection. Project Officer Aidan Neary is on-hand to update visitors on LLP’s progress to date and answer questions in the Herbarium Room. The displays attract 40 visitors, including many young families. The Horncastle News is also on-hand to publicise events.

Meanwhile, back at the Trust’s shop, business is brisk. Merchandise sales achieve £65, whilst donations from refreshments raise £23. Trust membership numbers are also set to rise. ‘Keep doing them please’ and ‘Very interesting and enjoyable, thank you.’ are just some of the positive comments received from today’s events.

I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Simon