LEAP YEAR: Blickling staff take extra 24 hours off to volunteer

Today the world is enjoying an extra 24 hours as another leap year has rolled round – the day when women can propose to men.

And in the spirit of February 29 allowing unusual traditions to happen, National Trust staff will be stepping out of their normal routine today to volunteer in their communities.

Staff at Blicking Hall, near Aylsham, are among those being given today off and swapping the grounds of the stately home to litter-pick at Aylsham. Staff will be clearing the historic Market Place via a footpath connecting it to the estate.

Jo Bosch, marketing manager at Blickling Hall, said: 'It makes for a memorable February 29. We're really looking forward to it – it will be a good team day out.'

Members of the house team did their volunteering on Monday, so Blickling could stay open today, and went to the parish church to give it an early spring clean. Memorial stones were given a spruce-up, windows cleaned and statues given some TLC during the day.

Mrs Bosch added: 'There's quite a big connection between Blicking and the church – various owners of Blickling are buried there. Although we don't own the church as part of the estate, it's very close to our hearts.'

? Are you popping the question today, or doing something out of the ordinary to mark leap year? Call our news team on 01263 513453.

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