Member Newsletter #19: Spring 2023

Fresh new festivals and seasonal events to kick off the warmer months

WELCOME to your spring member newsletter

As we celebrate the long-awaited arrival of spring, we have so much happening on the estate that we are practically bursting with events! This season we also welcome our new Chair of Trustees, Lord David Triesman, who has arrived just in time for the busy months ahead.

Read on for updates on The Cider Press Centre, Member events, plus what’s on over Easter and all the May bank holidays to come. We have more news from our Bookshop as well as snapshots of our sustainable efforts and ideas spanning land, food and craft.

member events

Coffee with the gardeners

The Summerhouse
29 March, 1.30pm

Come along this Wednesday for coffee, cake and a chat with Head Gardener Neville Evans and his team, and find out what they’ve been working on over the past winter months.

The afternoon will include a yew tree update and a tour around the newly planted Nectar Garden.

members gardens event 2

Cider Press sale extravaganza

Extra 10% off for members at our mid-season sale event
Thursday 30 March, 5 – 7pm

Our mid-season sale is now on at The Cider Press Centre, featuring up to 50% off selected glass, furniture, beauty, homeware and toys. There are loads of savings to be had, and for this Thursday only the shops will stay open from 5-7pm, offering members a further 10% off all sale prices! There’ll be food tastings too. Don’t miss it!

The Cider Press Centre will also be staying open until 7pm every Thursday and Friday from next week onwards, for the spring and summer months ahead.

A reminder too that we’re still on the look-out for local, ethical and sustainable partners to join our shops, where we get thousands of visitors a year. Please contact for more information.

cider press centre products


Introducing Seb… our new Land Manager

We caught up with Seb Allen-Mepham, who joined us recently, to find out what he’ll be focussing on over the coming months as he looks to manage our 1200 acres of estate land.

Q: Did you grow up in the countryside or was it something you discovered?

A: I grew up in Buckfastleigh until I was 10, and subsequently moved to Huxhams Cross for a further 6 years. Many happy days were spent volunteering at Lower Sharpham Barton Farm and for Dartington with the Conservation Team. I also spent my holidays working on a farm in Northumberland belonging to friends of the family. In a nutshell, I have been a country bumpkin all along.

Q:  What sort of things were you doing before you came here?

A: Prior to arriving at Dartington, I worked for Natural England in their National Nature Reserve Team for some years as well as managing a couple of different organic/mixed livestock farms subsequent to that.

Seb Allen-Mepham

Q: Do you have a favourite bird or wild animal from the British countryside?

A: Perhaps not a single favourite, but ones high on the list would be roe deer (they originally got me into wildlife photography when I was young), Marsh Fritillary butterflies (happy memories of chalk downland) and song thrush (for their leading part in the dawn chorus).

Q: What has been a personal or career highlight/achievement for you?

A: Managing the reversion of 25ac of improved grass leys back to species-rich wildflower meadows in a partnership project with the RSPB.

Q: What brought you to Dartington? 

A: I was looking to find the right opportunity that would bring me back ‘home’ to the South Hams so when I saw this position advertised, it made complete sense to go for it. What is particularly interesting about the role of Land Manager at Dartington is having a cross section of farming, conservation, forestry, education and social engagement elements all within the remit.

Q: What is your vision for the management of the land here at Dartington?

A: It is very much still evolving, as I learn more about the estate and understand its historic and recent past. Some general themes would include;

  • Renewing and developing the management of the estate’s varied woodlands in a fashion that starts providing some timber to local markets and benefits the forest ecosystems.
  • Building in further elements from the Land Use Review.
  • Developing our portfolio of land-based tenants, and building even closer ties to those already in place.

Tara’s blog: Our sustainable food culture

Our wonderful Food Lead, Tara Vaughan-Hughes, now writes a food blog that we wanted to share with you.

Talking about the ethos at Dartington, Tara gives an honest insight into our food journey here, divulging her top secrets, and expanding on our focus on producing completely sustainable, wholesome, honest, organic food.


upcoming events

We’ve picked out some of the key highlights coming up below, but make sure you check out our full events listings too. And don’t forget that your members discount applies automatically during checkout on applicable events. Look for the ‘members discount’ message on event pages, and refer to the member benefits page to see what’s available.

Our History: Celebrating 90 years of the legacy of Beatrix Farrand

16 & 17 May
Member 10% discount applies

Dan Pearson returns to Dartington for this exciting two-day event in May, celebrating the legacy of the pioneer female landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand, and raising funds for our wonderful Grade II* Listed gardens.

Join us for an evening dinner, morning tour or an afternoon film and cream tea on the lawn, all in the great company of Dan and our gardens team. Tickets are limited so please book soon.

What are we fundraising for?

All the areas of the gardens we are fundraising for are focused around preserving and enhancing the work originally carried out by Beatrix Farrand – including restoration of the iconic Playhouse thatch roof, a new link path between Higher Meadow and the Woodland Walk, and developing a nectar rich meadow for wildlife in the Valley Field. You can donate directly to these projects here >

Beatrix Farrand
Kickmouse Mysterium

EASTER Activities

We’re celebrating Easter with a real variety of activities this year, with our exciting children’s ‘a play in a day’ camp, plus brand new family theatre Kickermouse Mysterium. There will be lots of craft workshops and of course, egg hunts too!

Down at The Cider Press Centre you’ll find live music, free tastings and some great deals for members. Families can also follow the Golden Goose trail in the Grade II* Listed Gardens, now bursting with colourful blossom and magnolias. Don’t forget all members can bring a guest to the gardens for free!

Dan Whitehouse

april gigs

In next month’s line up, expect nothing less than incredible performances from world-class musicians…

13 Apr: Reg Meuross
14 Apr: Jackie Oates with Mike Cosgrave
20 Apr: Dan Whitehouse
21 Apr: Brìghde Chaimbeul, Ross Ainslie & Steven Byrnes
23 & 24 Apr: Dartington Community Choir with Roderick Williams

Coronation celebrations

Having once hosted the then HRH The Prince of Wales in 2005, you can expect nothing less than a weekend of celebrations to mark the Coronation!

Events will include a big screen in the Great Hall, family fun and activities, cream teas, music on the lawn and more. Keep an eye on our website for ticketed events, available soon.

new festivals announced

totnes bookshop with decorations


28 April – 1 May

This joyful festival returns in 2023 for a colourful May Day weekend, as we mark the turning from spring to summer through a vibrant array of Indian music, culture, and creative connections with nature.


Rosie Holt

Above: Rosie Holt


14 – 16 July

Our exciting new joint-venture festival with Byline Times is a weekend of ideas, food, dancing and thinking about how we can change the world for the better.

Locals’ rate and early bird tickets available now until the end of April using code EARLYBYLINE. Members discount also applies on all tickets.


Fashion Reimagined still

Barn cinema pick: Fashion Reimagined [12A]

31 March, 2 & 4 April

A thoughtful and fascinating documentary following the insightful journey of clothes production and its environmental effects. You’ll certainly be re-evaluating your wardrobe after watching this!


Ground in Pattern

Short course pick: Ground in Pattern with Sarah Burns

5-7 May, Member 10% discount applies

Master the ancient method of dhabu textile-printing, using iron-rich water from the River Dart, mud from the fields and ponds of our estate, fruits from the trees, soil from the fields and woad from the Schumacher Craft Dye garden.


diary OF A nobody IMAGE

Dartington Playgoers: Diary of a Nobody

19-22 April, Space Studios
Members 10% discount applies.

Victorian comedy of manners which uproariously recreates the trials and tribulations of Charles Pooter’s daily grind of Victorian London.



Bookshop online

Did you know that your membership discount applies in our Shop in Totnes? We have a fantastic range of Dartington-aligned books and a selection of non-book items too. You can also renew your membership at the bookshop, or set-up to auto-renew your membership there too.

If we don’t have the books that you’re looking for in stock, our staff are able to order them in for you, either in person or by phone, and most often for next-day delivery!

If you live further afield, it is now possible to visit to continue your support of Dartington Trust. is designed to support independent bookshops like ours. Simply select Dartington Trust Books as your affiliate shop here and the Trust will receive percentage of the sales.

Please note that unfortunately membership discount cannot be applied online, although there is usually a small online discount on most titles.


totnes shop
Glamping Pod

Pretty Pods!

Check out our popular new glamping pods and book ahead for the summer months. Our cosy pods sleep two people, and offer the great traditional camping experience, with a bit of warmth and comfort too!

Our campsite opens again from Friday 7 April onwards, so whether you’ve got friends and family visiting over Easter, or you fancy a short break yourself, you can enjoy your member 10% discount when you book a campsite stay with us at Dartington using your code MEMBSTAY.




We’ve teamed up with Sandridge Barton, the home of Sharpham Wine, who are offering all Dartington Members 10 % off their wine and cheese tastings and tours throughout 2023!

Simply use the discount code DARTHALL10 online.


and finally…

Become a Lifetime member and discover even more at Dartington!

There’s so many ways you can continue to support all that we do here on the estate, and one special way of doing this is through our Lifetime membership scheme. With single and joint / family options, it’s great way to make a lasting difference to the Trust.

Your membership helps to look after this incredible estate, as well as furthering our vital conservation works as a charity, and maintaining the grounds and buildings too. By supporting us in this way today, you are ensuring Dartington stays a place that people can come to for future generations.

Your support means so much. Thank you!


gardens couple

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