THE work of Victorian nature writer Richard Jefferies is being brought to a new audience this summer.

A series of cream tea and culture Sundays is being staged at his birthplace near Coate Water and it is proving popular.

“The museum is dedicated to Richard Jefferies but a lot of people have never heard of him,” said manager Mike Pringle. “Just wandering around looking at books in cases isn’t really doing justice to him.

“We thought on Sunday afternoons when we’re open why not up the game a bit and make it an event rather than just a visit?”

The programme includes music performances, artists working with visitors and cake decorating sessions. This Sunday there will be a shadow puppet show.

“It is trying to do something a bit different each week,” said Mike.

So far the events have gone down very well, especially because they have been blessed with good weather.

Mike said: “It has been absolutely brilliant. When we took over the place a couple of years ago some days you would be lucky to see anybody but now it is absolutely heaving.”

“We have been working really hard these last couple of years, trying to transform the place,” he added. Much of the focus was on young people and school visits were helping to increase interest in the writer dubbed the first and truest nature conservationist.

The museum off Marlborough Road features the 17th century thatched cottage owned by the Jefferies family, a farmhouse, gardens and orchard housing his writings, paintings and memorabilia.

It is open this Sunday between 1.30 and 5pm and the event runs from 2pm to 4pm.

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