Dorset

Brownsea Island marks 50 years with the National Trust

  • 5 May 2012
  • From the section Dorset
Squirrel art at Brownsea Island
Squirrels will feature in arts celebrations this weekend

A programme of arts, including a play, sculpture and poems, will mark 50 years of Brownsea Island being part of the National Trust.

The arts programme over the bank holiday weekend will reflect the history of the Dorset island, ranging from its Viking past to its Victorian industry.

It will also draw inspiration from the island's unique wildlife.

Brownsea Island is a haven for red squirrels in the South.

The highlight of the celebrations will be an outdoor performance on the island, which will be staged each day.

Scout camp

The play, called South Deep to Blood Alley, will explore the history of the island, which was created 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age.

"The show will take people out and about across the island - which is what we want to do with the rest of our celebrations this year, get people out into the often less well visited places, discover the stories from the island's history and bring the whole island to life," said Antony Waller, creative producer for the National Trust.

Over the centuries the island has been visited by pirates and Vikings, has been home to a hermit, and used to farm daffodils and make pottery.

Brownsea Island was used as the location for the first ever Scout camp in 1907, led by Lord Baden-Powell.

The island is now a dedicated nature conservation area and was gifted to the National Trust 50 years ago by reclusive private owner Mary Bonham-Christie.

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