National Trust offers staff ‘Mediterranean working hours’ with option of SIESTAS to cope with the harsh heatwave conditions of SURREY

  • Staff will be able to start work earlier in the day and take a longer break in day  
  • Ham House in Richmond will be one of the trust’s first properties to make change
  • Staff at Lanhydrock in Cornwall are also considering making the swap  

Siestas may be introduced into the 500 National Trust heritage sites across the country as staff are offered ‘Mediterranean working hours’ to cope with the heatwave conditions of Surrey. 

Staff will be given the opportunity to swap their regular shifts in favour of starting earlier in the day and taking a longer break than usual before returning later in the afternoon once the midday heat has died down. 

Ham House in Richmond will be one of the trust’s first properties to make the changes after it was forced to close during a heatwave in 2019 when the mercy hit 104F (40C).  

Ham House (pictured) in Richmond will be one of the trust’s first properties to make the changes after it was forced to close during a heatwave in 2019 when the mercy hit 104F (40C)

And staff at Lanhydrock in Cornwall are also considering making the swap to the Mediterranean style of working, according to The Times.  

A trust spokesman told the publication: ‘As we experience more extreme temperatures, we will be looking to offer Mediterranean working hours to ensure the health and safety of our staff and volunteers. 

In recent years staff have already started employing this, with gardeners and some property staff in particular starting earlier than they normally would and then taking a longer break than usual to avoid the hottest part of the day, in some instances returning again late afternoon as temperatures cool.’

And staff at Lanhydrock (pictured) in Cornwall are also considering making the swap to the Mediterranean style of working

The trust’s head of climate and environment, Lizzy Carlyle, said: ‘There is much to be done across the industry to collectively prepare for more frequent days above 30C, higher winds and increased flooding’

The charity went on to warn that more sites may be forced to close more frequently due to excessive heat or storms.  

And it has announced plans to grow 20million trees by 2030 to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.  

The trust’s head of climate and environment, Lizzy Carlyle, told the publication: ‘The National Trust is already taking action across the places we care for to ensure sites are ready for these changes, but there is much to be done across the industry to collectively prepare for more frequent days above 30C, higher winds and increased flooding’. 

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