The Director-General of the National Trust, Hilary McGrady, has today called for people across the UK to stay at home this Easter as part of the national collective effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus. She has also recorded a video message to be shared with millions of members encouraging people not to travel but to instead find moments of joy in their own Easter celebrations and home and to take reassurance from the spring beauty unfolding around us. She also thanked those frontline workers who are fighting the coronavirus and caring for its victims.
The hundreds of houses, gardens and outdoor beauty spots in the charity’s care, like Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle among others are traditionally a magnet over Easter weekend as people visit to celebrate the holiday. While National Trust places remain closed, the charity hopes people will still celebrate Easter and spring traditions. The Trust recently launched a year of action to tackle ‘nature deficiency’, building on research in collaboration with Derby University which showed that children and adults who mark natural events and observe the daily and seasonal rhythms of nature, are more likely to take action to protect nature as well as reporting higher levels of wellbeing.
McGrady said: “We know how sad our members and visitors are that they can’t travel to their favourite places to mark Easter and celebrate the arrival of spring this year, but our biggest priority has to be staying at home to help our NHS and keep ourselves and one another safe. During the closure, we are still looking after the places people love, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming them back when it’s time. In the meantime, we’ve put together a new Easter experience with our members on our website so that people can stay connected to their favourite places and each other and create Easter memories in their own homes and gardens.”
Starting from this week, the charity will launch its new rolling programme of online content which will include a Great Easter Scavenger Hunt which will encourage families, even those who are apart at this time to find particular objects around their homes and gardens and share their photos on social media by tagging the National Trust at @nationaltrust. Beginning before Easter and while social distancing measures continue, the Trust’s website will each week feature free-to-access articles, podcasts, videos, tips and activities for all age groups. These will include:
- showcases of historic treasures in the Trust’s vast collection, from papier-mâché Easter eggs to 18th-century porcelain shepherds and shepherdesses;
- exploring Easter traditions of the past and present such as egg rolling;
- ideas for families – craft and activities to do in the garden;
- expert garden Q&A articles on topics including spring flowers and house plants; and
- a Weekend Challenge bringing elements of a weekend National Trust visit into family homes, including the chance to turn your hallway into a World Heritage Site!
The charity’s social media channels will also join in the programme of home-based activities and content, with films, pictures and stories including some special seasonal recipes to try. You can find a host of recipes to inspire you using produce from Dorset here.
More information is available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Image from the National Trust.