On Thursday, the 21st of February, Stuart and I visited one of our largest sites, the historic estate of Shugborough in Stafford, until recently the historic home of the Earls of Lichfield. Shugborough has a lot to offer the visitor; we only saw the museum and servants’ quarters, but there is also the mansion house, the walled garden, the farm and the island arboretum. Finally, it has a little train which has endless appeal for the littlest visitors (so we shall not argue about whether it is environmentally friendly or not).
It was a bitterly cold day to be going, but thankfully we didn’t have the obstacle of snow that we had at Nuneaton. It was also fortunate conditions for the thermal imaging; thermal imaging is best done around two hours after sunset, so in fact a lower temperature sets up a better contrast. Shugborough already undertook the Greening Museums Toolkit a couple of years ago, and, due to their size, have received a Display Energy Certificate and the advice that goes with one. But our check has made and will make observations they have not yet had the opportunity to act on.
Shugborough was also an interesting site due to its extensive grounds, which we did not get the chance to explore. Many of our sites so far have been set in town centres, such as Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery and Bridgnorth’s Northgate Museum, but Shugborough has extensive grounds which allow the visitors to connect with nature. A big part of the Green Business Tourism Award is the synthesis of cultural exploration with natural exploration, and it’ll be very interesting, working with Shugborough, to see how this pans out.