NATIONAL Trust places across Herefordshire are set to undergo vital conservation works this winter.

The charity carries out work throughout the year, but January proves to be the busiest time, with a host of projects to preserve and protect already well underway in the county.

At Berrington Hall, near Leominster, work is currently taking place to conserve an original Court Mantua dress which belonged to Ann Bangham, wife of Berrington's first owner, Thomas Harley, in the 18th century.

Delicate fragments made of silk and woven with gold thread were recovered in 2016.

The team have been gradually piecing the dress back together to give visitors, for the first time, the rare opportunity to see it as it would have been worn.

The country house is also embarking on a major project for 2019 to restore and conserve its iconic glass dome, which stands in the centre of the mansion and which, to this day, still floods the main staircase with light.

More generally, properties across the area will receive a thorough cleaning, using both modern equipment such as specialised vacuums, and traditional techniques with specialist brushes to clean the most delicate artefacts.

Ana Vaughan, Operations Manager at Berrington Hall, said: “Visitors love to take a look around the beautiful historic places in our care, but most people don’t realise how much work goes into the protection and preservation of them.

“Work is taking place across the region to keep properties, and the objects in them, in the best condition possible. Just maintaining one site requires a huge ongoing programme of repairs, painting and conservation – with things such as dust, light and temperature all having a negative effect on properties and objects over time.

“By carrying out this much-needed work, our aim is to care for and protect these special properties for current and future generations to enjoy. The work is intensive, but we hope visitors would agree, very worthwhile!”

The National Trust is an independent conservation charity, funded through memberships, donations, legacies and commercial operations.

To find out more information about National Trust’s conservation work, please visit