CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Interview with Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General at The National Trust

PUBLISHED: 15:06 18 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:26 18 June 2014

Archant

Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General at The National Trust, reveals her favourite county properties on a recent trip to Hampshire

Tell us about the last time you were in the county

I was last down in Hampshire in March to help Winchester City Mill celebrate 10 years of milling there. Just before Christmas, I spent a “back to the floor” day at Mottisfont, which included serving in the shop and making mince pies for the tea room. I’m a Hampshire girl (brought up in Farnborough) and my mother lives in Winchester, so I know the county well.

--------------------------------------------------

What is your favourite Hampshire National Trust property and why?

I first visited The Vyne as a child, and remember being fascinated by the many layers of history in the building, so that would be a contender. But of course, as Director General I shouldn’t really have a favourite – I love them all!

--------------------------------------------------

Talk us through a typical day as Director General of the National Trust

Can I talk about a typical week? I’m generally in our HQ in Swindon one day, catching up on meetings and e-mails. I also drop in on our London office in the middle of the week. But other than that, I’m out and about, visiting NT properties across the country. Recently I was at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, site of the Anglo-Saxon ship burial. Later in the week I was at Runnymede, walking around the meadows and talking to my team about the Magna Carta celebrations there next year.

--------------------------------------------------

What is it about our properties that make them so successful?

The sheer variety! Each of them has something different to offer its visitors, from intriguing stories and exotic collections, to amazing art exhibitions and gardens full of scent and colour. Whatever your interests there is something for you and your family, whether it’s the fascinating architecture of The Vyne, the wonderful gardens at Hinton Ampner or building a den in Mottisfont’s ancient woodlands.

--------------------------------------------------

Can you reveal any exciting events taking place this year?

The City Mill is hosting lots of themed baking demonstrations this year; next up is Father’s Day, and beer bread! ‘Wartime in the Dorm’ tells the colourful story of school girl evacuees at Hinton Ampner during the 1940s, while Mottisfont plays host to Britain’s best-loved children’s illustrators, in a summer exhibition.

--------------------------------------------------

How would you spend a spring day?

Walking at Cheesefoot Head. I love the views. It was one of my father’s favourite places, and it’s particularly beautiful in the spring when the violets are out.

--------------------------------------------------

Are there any new additions in the pipeline for Hampshire?

We’ve just opened up an additional 1,600 acres of estate at Hinton Ampner, so visitors can enjoy walks and picnics in beautiful beech woodland. Mottisfont’s younger visitors are also in for a treat when its new Wild Play wet and climbing area opens in early summer, inspired by the children who played there in the 1890s.

--------------------------------------------------

If you could recommend one non-Hampshire property, which one would it be?

Can I suggest two? In this World War One centenary year, you should go to Dunham Massey in Cheshire where we have recreated the Stamford Military Hospital, where they looked after 300 soldiers from the trenches. And the Back to Backs, round the corner from New Street Station in Birmingham gives a fascinating insight into the lives of ordinary people from Victorian times to the 1970s.

--------------------------------------------------

What do you like to do when you have a day off?

I travel so much in my job, I like just pottering around at home, cooking for my family and listening to Radio 4. Now that the weather is getting better I should also be spending some time on my allotment!

More from Out & About

Wed, 14:44

Savour spectacular views of the Needles and Alum Bay and discover history tales on this invigorating walk on the Isle of Wight

Read more
Mon, 12:35

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Hampshire

Read more
Mon, 12:34

Havant a clue where to go or what to do? Here are some pointers to parks, paths and performances

Read more
Mon, 12:33

With its connections to Shakesepeare and royalty, the village of Titchfield is full of surprises

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

As the mellow fruitfulness of autumn takes hold across the New Forest, what could be better than spending a few days in and around Lyndhurst? We take a tour and come up with our top 8

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Hampshire is full of autumnal scenes this month, so we asked the county’s photographers to share their secret spots for stunning vistas

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Remember, remember… Here’s a quick round up of some stunning displays across Hampshire this year

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Is this the ultimate city break? Winchester has it all: from ancient history to space exploration, plus cafes, cocktails, culture and countryside… But with so much to do, choices are going to have to be made

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Our guide to some of the best Halloween events on offer across Hampshire this October

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

The community shop is thriving. Why? And what makes the perfect village store? We went in search…

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

From Jane Austen to Karl Marx, our towns and villages have fascinating links to some of the biggest historical celebrities. Viv Micklefield follows in their footsteps with the help of a blue plaque or two

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We round up 8 things you didn’t know about this little South Downs village

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Enjoy some easy walking around the Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve says Fiona Barltrop

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search