Park Manager’s Report – June 2017

It’s full steam ahead here at the Park at the moment, and I choose that phrase with some deliberation… I will explain later. We have had a large capital investment that will allow us to develop revenue streams, which will help put the Park on a more secure financial footing for the future. This inevitably will mean a sharper commercial focus for the Park but don’t worry: we are all aware of stunning place which we are here to protect.

Over the coming months we will be developing our holiday let portfolio with the addition of two new holiday lets at Yew Tree Cottage next to Horseshoe Cottage and also the development of our cliff top property, Captain Blake’s Hut at Polhawn Fort. Captain Blake’s Hut must have some of the best views in Cornwall.

Nearer to home we are excitedly awaiting the arrival of our Shepherd’s Huts from the world renowned craftsmen at Plankbridge of Dorset. These will be located near the cricket pitch and will provide an upmarket glamping experience.

May is indeed a busy month which also sees the launch of our new web site at www.mountedgcumbe.gov.uk. This will be our major marketing tool and has been built with cooperation from our commercial partners, all aimed at providing a first class day out for all the family at Mount Edgcumbe.

Which brings me back to full steam ahead…. and the arrival of our miniature railway at the Artists’ Platz! If you would like to volunteer as engine driver (every schoolboy’s dream after all) then please contact Marie-Claire at the House.

Chris Burton

 

Park Manager's Report - September 2016

  • Work has finished on the HLS folly sites throughout the park, apart from the old deer wall in the amphitheatre.
  • The knot garden is now complete. A final payment of £3148 from the Friends will be much appreciated.
  • The Ranger team will be working flat out with Stewardship fencing for the rest of October. After the fencing the next priority is the Tree Safety Plan and the backlog of tree safety work.
  • The House will now be open at weekends throughout the winter working on a guided tour basis. Any volunteer stewards would be most welcome.
  • A parking bollard will be installed at Cremyll gate in November.
  • Work on railings on the Zig Zags is in the work diary for November.
  • Bob is carrying on with signage around the park. His next bit of work will be beside the Barrow Centre.
  • There are now three hives of Cornish black bees in the English Garden.
  • Summer bedding has been removed.
  • Last of the summer mowing and flail work has been completed.
  • I have asked the Land Rover Discovery club to donate to the Friends and we now have volunteers to man the Maker Gate on 15 October
  • A Rosamund Pilcher film crew will be in the House on 5/6/7 October

Winter Weekend Tours

The House will be opening for guided tours during winter weekends between October and April.  Tickets are on sale at the entrance to the House (11am to 4pm weekends only) or you can pre-book by calling 01752 822236.

Financial Problems for the Park

Tony Hutchings writes:

Along with other volunteers from the Friends I regularly man the Lodge where we sell second hand books, generously donated by various members of the public. We also act as an information area for the House and Park. It is also a good place to advertise the work of the Friends and to explain how and why we have raised around £250000 over the years. This has been spent on many and varied projects around the park, aimed at enhancing the grounds and making the work of the dwindling members of staff easier. Members of the public are amazed when I explain that although owned by Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council, their financial input is a dwindling resource and that by 2020 the expectation is that there will be no financial input at all. How can this be? The country park, one of the biggest in the country, costs around £760000 per annum to manage. Each of the two authorities currently inputs £120000. It is up to the Park Manager and his team to raise as much as they can to meet the shortfall. Regular visitors to the park will know that The Stables area now has several retail outlets, privately owned and rented from the Park management. At the Cremyll entrance, hidden behind “Aunt Em’s”, is a holiday let. The Park Manager is hoping to be able to raise enough money to do up a few more buildings so as to be able to rent out more of these. Around £8000 per property per annum are realistic incomes from these ventures. Over the last few years there has been an increase in weddings being held in the House and much use is made of the splendid Marquee, donated by the Friends.

My questions are: What will happen to the Country Park should all funding cease from the two authorities in 2020? Do we, the public, want to see the park close? Indeed can it legally be closed? Can the two authorities just turn their financial backs on the 850 or so acres? What happens to the coastal path which runs through the park? Will Mt Edgcumbe House be left to rot? Do you, the readers of this, care what happens to the house and park? I am anxious that our profile is raised and these questions I have posed along with I am sure many more be addressed now rather than in the four short years that would appear to be crucial in the future of the wonderful resource that is on our doorsteps.

The executive committee is anxious to encourage feedback from the many who feel strongly about the future of the House and Country Park. Please contact me or any member of the committee by clicking ‘Contact us’ on the top line of this website.

Park Manager's Report

June

  • Renovations continue on the HLS folly sites throughout the park. This month work is taking place at Queen Adelaide’s Grotto and Harbour View.
  • Several fallen trees have been removed from the roads and tracks around the park: they will be tidied up as ground conditions allow.
  • Litter bins have been relocated to the Barn Pool
  • Plants and infrastructure are being purchased for the Elizabethan garden adjacent to the House. The bombed out laundry room will also be uncovered and interpreted.
  • There are new signs at Cremyll Gate, Deer Park (Maker car park) and Kingsand entrance.
  • An Honesty Box has been placed at Maker car park. Money raised will be ringfenced for repairs to the track.
  • The Fairy Fest took place: no fairies were lost or injured and all had a good time, as did your Park Manager. The fields have just about recovered.
  • The work shop area has had a bit of a tidy
  • Some bees have moved into the hive near the English Garden House.
  • The Green Man Event made a small profit of £3,000
  • The gardeners will be busy cutting hedges throughout July
  • The Park now has a Tree Safety Management Plan.
  • Cornwall Archaeological services are working at Moss Seat in the Amphitheatre.
  • Two films will be showing on August 19/20 on the Artist Platt adjacent to the Garden Battery: ‘Bridesmaids’ and the latest ‘Star Wars’. (Event organised by Plymouth Art Centre).

Help Needed

Help needed in House and Park

The Friends play a vital role assisting the house and park staff in many areas of activity. We always need volunteers to:

  • Help at the car show
  • Man the bookshop
  • Help in the house as a steward
  • Drive the eco-bus or the buggy
  • Help with the gardening

……… click here for more information.

New at Mount Edgcumbe

Visitors to Mount Edgcumbe can now view the outcome of the archive project undertaken by a team of volunteers over the last 18 months. An edited version of the archive entitled ‘The Great War: Mount Edgcumbe Before and After’ is available for visitors to browse on an interactive touchscreen in one of the exhibition rooms, along with a digital photo display. The full digital archive containing several hundred photographs, over 100 documents and other information can be viewed on request, as can paper copies of the documents and information. A simple website has also been designed to publicise the project, promote the archive and encourage people to visit Mount Edgcumbe, www.mountedgcumbeww1.co.uk

Mount Edgcumbe House is currently hosting a temporary exhibition entitled ‘Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War’ to which has been added the casket presented to Viscountess Valletort in 1914 when she launched HMS Royal Oak, and an information panel as a memorial to those from the locality who lost their lives as a result of the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Edgcumbe 500

On Tuesday 8 December 2015 Robert, the 8th Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, unveiled a brand new garden here at Mount Edgcumbe to celebrate 500 years of the royal charter from Henry 8th granting a licence to empark part of the Rame Peninsula for use as a deer park. To celebrate this the Friends of Mount Edgcumbe have sponsored the design and planting of a new garden which includes two deer sculptures in stainless steel by our local blacksmith Mark Stevens. The garden is at the Barrow Centre and all are welcome to come and view at any time.

The History
On June 30 1515 King Henry VIII (by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Lord of Ireland) issued the following license:

‘For Sir Peter Eggegcombe (Sir Piers Edgcumbe). License to empark lands in Weststonehouse and Cremele, Devon, and Cuthele, Cornw, and to enclose and fortify his manor of Estonehouse, Devon.’ Weststonehouse and Cremele – today known as Mount Edgcumbe and Cremyll – were until 1844 included as a part of the county of Devon. 2015 will mark the 500th anniversary of the Edgcumbe family’s first structure on the peninsula – the great palisade fence – used to empark the Fallow Deer.

Throughout 2015 Mount Edgcumbe marked this historical milestone with various events and activities to recognise the careful stewardship over 500 years of a much loved Grade 1 listed landscape which is still grazed by the descendants of the original herd of deer today.

New Signage

New look for Mount Edgcumbe.
Park Manager, Chris Burton, is overseeing the creation of new signage throughout the Park. This is being made in house by Bob Platts, and feedback from those who have seen the new signs already erected at West Lodge and Cremyll entrances, Maker car park and the Kingsand entrance to the Minnadhu, is positive. Over this season the rest of the signage will be replaced, and next year Chris hopes to update the information boards at various points on the estate.

Reciprocal benefits

Reciprocal membership benefits with Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

A reciprocal arrangement exists with the Friends of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.  In exchange for them receiving free entry to Mount Edgcumbe House our members are entitled to free entry to the Elizabethan House, the Merchant’s House and Smeaton’s Tower.  Members are also entitled to a 10% discount in the Museum Cafe and shop (books excluded).

In addition the Friends of Mt Edgcumbe are invited to join Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery events which are listed on their website (See link below).

To see details of FPMAG coffee mornings and speakers click here: FPCMAG dates for your diary

To see details of trips and download ticket application forms click here: FPCMAG trip details

or e-mail Michael Moore directly at mikeanthony_134@hotmail.com