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National Trust is reopening some parks and gardens from June 3rd

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The National Trust has announced it will start to reopen some of its gardens and parks from June 3rd with new restrictions in place.

This morning’s announcement will see 29 sites across England and Northern Ireland open their doors, after being closed for 10 weeks.

The UK government currently allows day trips with no distance restrictions, but this is only in England and it’s not the same for Scotland and Wales. 

While the parks and gardens will welcome guests from next month there will be limitations on the capacity number, meaning only a third of the normal number of visitors will be allowed and they must social distance.

As for facilities, shops and houses will remain closed until further notice. This also includes some cafes and toilets. Sites in Wales will remain closed. 

Credit: Bs0u10e01

A new online booking system has launched today that allows guests to pre-book their visits, which is now compulsory. You can book one ticket per person excluding children under 5 and select a 30 minute arrival time slot for the day. 

If you are more than 10 minutes late you will lose your slot. 

The length of time you are allowed to stay varies between locations so it’s worth double-checking.

The parks are also offering priority to key workers with the first and last slots of the day as a ‘thank you for all they have done’.

Credit: Stephen McKay

Full List of the National Trust sites reopening:

South West

  • Corfe Castle, Dorset
  • Kingston Lacy, Dorset
  • Killerton, Devon
  • Lacock, Wiltshire

Midlands

  • Attingham Park, Shropshire
  • Belton House, Lincolnshire
  • Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
  • Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
  • Hardwick, Derbyshire

London and the South East

  • Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
  • Hinton Ampner, Hampshire
  • Mottisfont, Hampshire
  • Polesden Lacey, Surrey
  • Stowe, Buckinghamshire
  • Scotney Castle, Kent
  • Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
  • Standen House and Garden, West Sussex
  • Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
  • The Vyne, Hampshire
  • Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire

North

  • Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire
  • Gibside, Tyne & Wear
  • Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester
  • Lyme Park, Cheshire
  • Quarry Bank, Cheshire
  • Wallington, Northumberland

East of England

  • Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
  • Ickworth, Suffolk
  • Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
  • Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire

Northern Ireland

  • Castle Coole, County Fermanagh
  • Castle Ward, County Down
  • Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House, County Londonderry
  • Florence Court, County Fermanagh
  • Mount Stewart, County Down
  • Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry
  • Rowallane Garden, County Down
  • The Argory, County Armagh

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Greater Manchester town officially named one of the happiest places to live in UK

Well-deserved?

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A Greater Manchester town has been named among the 20 happiest places to live in the UK, alongside a couple of other North West spots.

Altrincham was placed in the top 20 of Britain’s happiest places to live in an annual survey, coming in at number 17 in Rightmove’s survey.

St Ives, a seaside town in Cornwall, took the number one spot, while Galashiels in Scotland came in a respectable second.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

Other North West areas in the top 20 were Northwich (16) and Macclesfield (18).

Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index asked more than 21,000 people their thoughts on where they live.

Each area is ranked on factors like whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, local amenities, whether there is a community spirit and the proximity to green spaces.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

According to Rightmove, these are Britain’s happiest places to live in 2022 (including the average house price and average asking monthly rental price):

1) St Ives, South West – £523,731, £1,152

2) Galashiels, Scotland – £153,546, £530

3) Woodbridge, East of England – £481,978, £1,196

4) Hexham, North East – £262,265, £810

5) Perth, Scotland – £179,410, £812

6) Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber – £381,124, £1,327

7) Anglesey, Wales – £324,048, £766

8) Bury St Edmunds, East of England – £334,160, £1,368

9) Stirling, Scotland – £197,075, £990

10) Cirencester, South West, £382,065 – £1,331

11) Richmond-upon-Thames, London – £1,153,347, £3,931

12) Falmouth, South West – £373,752, £1,289

13) Monmouth, Wales – £331,844, £1,104

14) Leamington Spa, West Midlands – £383,553, £1,274

15) Worcester, West Midlands – £286,250, £1,059

16) Northwich, North West – £246,995, £942

17) Altrincham, North West – £615,246, £2,297

18) Macclesfield, North West – £292,078, £1,146

19) Newbury, South East – £380,842, £1,364

20) Llandudno, Wales – £260,245, £760

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Northern to start using new technology to catch train fare dodgers

‘This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues’

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Northern has announced that they will be bringing in some brand new technology to catch train fare dodgers.

Britain’s second largest train operator is planning to install the system within station barriers at ‘known hotspots’, the BBC reports.

The technology will automatically detect whether a ticket is valid, and alert rail staff for any additional checks, or if the customer has the right railcard.

Jon David Houghton / Wikimedia Commons

According to Northern, around 180 fare dodgers were caught in a single day when they trialled the system at Manchester Victoria in November.

Northern’s Customer and Commercial Director Mark Powles said: “This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues whose job it is to ensure ticket checks are carried out quickly and efficiently.

“Unfortunately, we know that a small minority of customers try to exploit the automated nature of barrier checks to travel on tickets they know they’re not eligible to use.”

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Powles added that the kit was ‘very easy’ to install, saying it could be: “deployed to known hotspots across the whole network to help tackle this fraudulent activity”.

The Department for Transport confirmed last month that anyone travelling on a train without a ticket can be fined £100 from January 23rd, rising from £20. 

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Man, 33, charged following attempted kidnapping of schoolgirl

A 33-year-old has been arrested and charged

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Police have charged a man, following the release of CCTV footage featuring a car used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on Monday, November 21st.

Detectives also believe the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

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Officers have confirmed that Sean Anthony Gillings (06/09/1989) of no fixed abode has been charged, following an appeal to the public.

This appeal resulted in the arrest of 33-year-old Gillings, who was then questioned and charged on Tuesday November 29th.

He also remains on bail for the other two attempt kidnaps, while further investigations are ongoing.

Gillings was remanded in custody yesterday, Wednesday November 30th, to appear at Manchester Crown Square Court on Wednesday January 4th 2023.

Police previously confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers on Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, previously said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police believe the incidents happened at the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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