Why we take part
As a nationally recognised festival HODs gives us an opportunity to showcase different aspects of our work. ‘Behind the scenes’ is a concept associated with the indoors, but I have found it is possible to surprise and delight visitors by adding value to a walk they may have done hundreds of times, or by giving them the confidence to explore parts of the countryside they may not have ventured into before. As a working estate with many tenants, providing access to parts of the estate not normally ‘open’, and improving access to stories of the estate is something the whole team are keen to continue.
What we do for HODs
The difference it's made
The work that myself and the Riverlands Upper Bure project team did in preparation for the 2019 series meant collaborating with our fantastic restoration engineer volunteers. Working with them enabled us to deliver an experience which was both about the conservation need of our natural environment, and the links between the landscape and social history of the estate. Taking on the task of opening a second water pumphouse in the gardens to visitors also brought its own challenges. However, working closely with Donna, our regional Operational Risk Business Partner, on this project has meant I am better equipped to anticipate what is required when inviting visitors into new parts of the estate and their buildings.
As a property that has traditionally provided a ‘house and garden’ offer, the level of interest in a nature/wildlife focussed project happening in the catchment and at Blickling was a nice surprise.
Bethan's top tip!
Go for it! Participating in HODs is always a rewarding experience. Work together – having Ali from the project team, friends in the marketing team and buy-in from Ops Risk made our walks a success. Think about teams or pieces of work that would be good to get involved, or elements that could add value to the experience.