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  1. If you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a museum, take a look at BBC2’s new series, Secrets of the Museum.

    It’s a six part series and it follows the V&A’s specialist teams as they follow the stories of amazing objects, from the old to the new.  The programme follows conservators to curators.

    Episodes cover the preparation for the 2019 Christian Dior exhibition, the current Mary Quant exhibition, and yet another looks at the recent Cars exhibition.

    The objects chosen were having something done to them, such as being transported, cleaned or transferred.  You never see this work, as a visitor to the museum and as such it’s hard to imagine the work involved, so the programme takes you behind the scenes.  

    The V&A’s objects cover over 5,000 years of history, and the hope is that the programmes will help us all appreciate the work done by the V&A on all our behalf.  

    The first episode of The Secrets of the Museum shows on Thursday 6 February 2020 at 8pm on BBC2.

    Visit the V&A’s website here

    Give a Gift Membership and support the museum’s work here – it’s the perfect gift for anyone who loves culture, with unmissable exhibitions, exclusive access, and unique events. 

    Red Letter Days' have a number of Arts and Crafts gift experiences, including a Drawing Class at the Victoria & Albert Museum!

    Red Letter Days have a number of Arts and Crafts gift experiences,
    including a Drawing Class at the Victoria & Albert Museum! 
    Get 15% off with the code RLDAHW15, valid until 16.02.2020


  2. It’s World Wetlands Day!

    Wetlands are a really important part of our planet, although they cover very little of its surface.   They are, effectively, where land meets water, and as such they cover areas such as shores, estuaries, mudflats, floodplains, coastal marshes, local ponds, the bog and pond in your garden, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, and rivers.  

    Why wetlands matter

    They provide us with drinking water, they store a third of the world’s carbon emissions and they buffer us from floods and droughts.

    They are important to wildlife because 40% of all plant and animal species live or breed here.  They are vital breeding and feeding grounds for migratory birds – stopover points, if you like.  They give wildlife a chance to rest, shelter and winter.   

    The theme in 2020 is Wetlands and Biodiversity.  You can find out about it here.

    Wetlands are facing increasing threats from pollution, climate change, dams and over-exploitation. 

    In the UK, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust works hard to combat these threats. 

    Why not give a membership and support their work?  They offer Family, Joint and Individual memberships and there’s a Life Membership as well.

    Membership benefits:

    • Unlimited entry to WWT’s nine wetland centres
    • A Welcome Pack full of information about the charity’s conservation work and visitor centres
    • Quarterly copies of WWT’s award-winning ‘Waterlife’ magazine
    • Entry vouchers for friends and family
    • Keep up to date via regular newsletters sent straight to your inbox
    • Free welcome gift if you pay by Direct Debit

    The WWT’s vision is “A world where healthy wetland nature thrives and enriches lives”. 

    Memberships help the WWT:

    • Restore, connect and enhance wetland habitats
    • Recover endangered species in the UK and further afield, such as the spoon-billed sandpipers
    • Help people to manage, protect and appreciate their wetlands

    Join the WWT today

    Help the WWT fulfil its vision and in doing so help people and wildlife around the world.

    Give a Gift Membership to the WWT today



  3. The RHS  has announced that their fifth garden - RHS Bridgewater - is opening to the public from  Thursday 30 July 2020!

    This is one of the most important events in the history of the RHS - it's the first new garden for nearly 20 years!

    RHS Bridgewater near Salford opens from 30 Juy 2020

    One of the really exciting things about it is that it will mean 8.2 million people will be within an hour's journey of the garden! 

    There will be a 10 day programme of events and celelrations in August, says the RHS.

    Find out more here

  4. “We all want quiet.  We all want beauty….We all need space.

    “Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently.”

    So said Octavia Hill, the Co-Founder of the National Trust.

    This year, the National Trust celebrates its 125th anniversary.  And today, the same is true – we all need places where we feel part of something greater.

    In 1895, the Trust began its mission to look after nature, beauty and history for everyone to enjoy, for ever.

    It bought its first building in East Sussex – Alfriston Clergy House – a year later for the sum of £10.00.

    In 1943, Beatrix Potter left the National Trust 14 farms and 4,000 acres of the Lake District.

    Back in 1965, the National Trust launched the Neptune Coastline Campaign.  The aim was to protect the coast for wildlife and people. 

    In 1981, it reached a major milestone – 1 million members.  And now, in 2020, together we have all helped the National Trust look after 780 miles of coastline, over 250,000 hectares of land, over 500 historic houses, castles and parks and gardens – and almost one million works of art.  And there are 5.9 million members! 


    To celebrate the National Trust’s 125 birthday or anniversary, there are lots of events taking place around the country, with plenty to see or do, including exhibitions such as…

    1. The Acorn to Oak Exhibition until 23 December in Worcestershire at Croome Court
    2. A Portrait of the National Trust:  125 Stories for 125 Years (2 May to 28 June) at Osterley Park and House, London
    3. In the Moment:  The Art of Wellbeing (3 March to 1 November) at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens, North Yorkshire

    Find out what's on near you!

    Become a member of the National Trust or give a gift membership 

    and support the work of the National Trust.