Help needed to repair Avebury Manor garden's thatched wallThe National Trust have launched an appeal to raise £20,000 to re-thatch the historic garden wall between Avebury Manor and St James’ Church.
Thatched walls are a characteristic feature of Wiltshire buildings and farms. This wall at Avebury is not only looks charming, but is also a wildlife habitat - supporting a number of insect species within its cracks and crevices, and small birds have nested in between its stones.
The wall’s locally sourced sarsen stones - some of which may have originated from Avebury’s stone circle - keep the heat, warm the garden borders and, of course, act as the boundary between the manor and the church.
However, time and weather have taken their toll and the thatch on the top of this ancient wall has badly deteriorated.
Reverend Maria Shepherdson of St James’ Church: “We work very hard to care for the church and church-yard for the community and it’s very important to make sure it’s looked after for future generations, so we’re delighted that the Trust are undertaking this project.”
The Trust is raising money in a number of ways, including inviting visitors to take part in their annual raffle, to make a donation online or to ‘Walk for the wall’ by raising sponsorship through the Wiltshire Landscape Walking Challenge.
The Wiltshire Landscape Walking Challenge is in its second year, and it encourages people to explore, through printed walks, all the National Trust sites cared for by the Wiltshire Landscape team. The twelve walks range from between 4 and 10 miles each and are self-led. Packs cost £12 and entrants have a chance to win a prize for completing it.
Eva Stuetzenberger is the National Trust Operations Manager at Avebury: “The Walking Challenge is a fantastic way to see some of the less well-known places that the National Trust look after. Now people can choose to enjoy these walks - at their own pace and any time of year - whilst at the same time raising money to support the work of the Trust.”
The ‘Walk for the wall’ appeal will run all year, until the Walking Challenge closes on 31 Dec 2019, so there’s plenty of time to get involved.
There are many other ways to support the wall appeal. People can get sponsorship to complete one of the free 10km running events (Trust10) that take place from Avebury every fourth Sunday of the month until October.
Or, if this all sounds too much of a challenge, visitors to Avebury can simply buy a £1 raffle ticket to help us restore the wall - and be in with a chance to win the top prize of £10,000.
One small part of the wall has already been re-thatched, and as the picture shows this work has been transformational. The Northmore-Ball and Knowles families arranged to have the small section over their family memorials repaired, and in doing so they have given a glimpse of how the wall and its thatch will look when completed.
Jan Tomlin is General Manager of National Trust Wiltshire Landscape: “It’s thanks to the generosity and dedication of our supporters that we are able to care for Avebury Manor and this appeal will help us secure the funds needed to conserve this beautiful wall for generations to come”.
Further information can be found at nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury.