Most of the National Trust basecamps are available free of charge for the use of volunteers, and I take advantage of this by organising occasional "dirty weekends" where I get a group of friends together to spend a couple of days on an NT property and do some voluntary work on the estate. Usually we work a full day on Saturday and a half day on Sunday, then have a tour of the property on the Sunday afternoon before heading home.
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Erddig, September 2002
Erddig Hall, and the basecamp (the Yale Hostel, birthplace of Elihu Yale, who founded Yale University)
The group, outside the basecamp: Rob, Simon, Dominic, James (the warden we worked with), Mark, Barry, Martin, and me.
At work: on the tractor trailer; removing a strainer (fence anchor post) that had had to be installed due to the foot & mouth crisis in 2001; the post after removal (now we know why it was such hard work to dig out!); a pile of assorted wood in the timber yard, and then the same wood sorted and stacked; part of the scrub clearance job we did (before and after) on the motte & bailey, at one time the site of Erddig Castle.
Scrumping apples from the tree outside the basecamp for our apple crumble; enjoying the finished dish; playing a silly game called Chubby Bunny, which basically involves stuffing as many marshmallows into your mouth as possible (Rob won on this occasion).
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