Visitors to National Trust sites are enabling vital community work at Erddig and Chirk Castle to continue, benefitting those who may not normally have access to the properties.

National Trust Cymru are working with organisations, charities and groups to have access to both properties and use the space to benefit those they represent.

Those people may be suffering bereavement, battling illness, or in need of support among other things which means that they would not normally access the space available through the ticket office, or use the grounds.

Susan Jones, the community and volunteering manager across North East Wales covering Chirk and Erddig, works with these organisations including NEWCIS, Foster Wales, The Rainbow Foundation, Nightingale House Hospice, and more.

The idea is to work with the organisations to provide them with the space to help those they represent to meet their individual needs, and offer support.

Susan said: “I’m not skilled in pastoral care, so I don’t know how to provide counselling, I don’t know all the individual needs of those participants but if we can use our space and link with the right organisations, they can come and use our space to help deliver their work. That’s my role.”

The organisations get wellbeing passes for people and families to come and enjoy the properties in peace for themselves.

The work is simply an extension of the original philosophies of Octavia Hill, Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley, who set up the National Trust in 1895 and wanted to preserve green space for generations to enjoy, and make it open to all.


Not everyone gets that chance to visit national trust properties, and many do not realise that they are not just historical homes, but also a green space that anyone can come and enjoy.

Susan said her job is to introduce more people who wouldn’t normally be interested in such properties, or even nature, and show them the benefits.

At Erddig there is even Felin Puleston, a community ‘hub’ which is currently the only National Trust site in Wales to have one.

Felin Puleston is used for different community events, including a youth club, and has the ErddigGrow Volunteers looking at building the skills of young people, along with enabler volunteers working alongside them.

Even before the National Trust, Erddig Hall’s grounds were open to the public, and Susan says that her work builds on this.

To Susan, the properties are not just a tourist attraction, but actively benefit the community.

She said: “I think for me I really would like to see a broader understanding in the public at large of what the National Trust does.”