Cornwall

Gardeners abseil 50m walls to weed St Michael's Mount

Abseiler on St Michael's Mount Image copyright Steven Haywood
Image caption Gardeners at St Michael's Mount need a head for heights

Gardeners have abseiled down the walls of a historic castle to complete essential weeding work.

National Trust staff took on the challenge to care for St Michael's Mount on an island off Cornwall.

Gardeners have to weed the 50m (160ft) walls of the 12th Century castle three times a year.

The four-strong team of gardeners at the medieval church and castle keep the walls clear of unwanted vegetation and allow the desired plants to flourish.

Image copyright Steven Haywood
Image caption National Trust gardeners are required to abseil several times a year

Lottie Allen, head gardener, said: "Abseiling has become an important skill to complete essential strimming and planting of the many nooks and crannies within the cliff face where plants grow in spite of the salty winter storms and baking summer temperatures."

Ms Allen said the weeding allowed plants such as aloes and aeoniums to thrive and flourish.

"It is a thrilling and unique experience to tend these gardens which are designed to be viewed from above," she said.

"On a personal note, abseiling allows me to appreciate the spectacular views of our gardens across the seasons and in all weathers."

Image copyright Steven Haywood
Image caption Gardens at the National Trust property are designed to be viewed from above
Image copyright Steven Haywood
Image caption St Michael's Mount in Cornwall has hosted religious orders and military garrisons down the centuries

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites