DURING the winter months the National Trust team at East Riddlesden Hall start to slowly close the doors.

The work that happens over winter couldn’t take place without the support of visitors and dedicated volunteers.

With 38,000 people exploring this wonderful jigsaw puzzle of a house, the first job on the list is to wax the floors. This four-stage process will take on average five hours per room, with two of the team manually bringing back the shine in preparation for next year.

A painting of East Riddlesden Hall has also been taken for cleaning. Working closely with our conservation experts helps the team learn more about each item in the collection, uncovering fascinating details, allowing us to add to the web of history.

Although we are now closed during the week the tea-room, shop, house and gardens are still open on a weekend from 11am to 4pm.

To experience first-hand true conservation in action, you can join the winter team for a walk and talk around the house, some of which will be covered in dust sheets. Learn more about essential work which will be taking place over the coming months.

Each visit will support the funding of long term conservation such as cleaning the 400-year-old plaster work ceilings. The task of surveying the basic condition costs £1,500, the cleaning itself could run into thousands.

The fields and meadows are forever evolving. This past two weeks has seen the Wild Trout Trust join forces with the National Trust team, with supported funding from Yorkshire Water, to improve fish habitat on selected lengths of the River Aire.

Dead vegetation was cleared from two becks, followed by willow deflectors, which were strategically placed to create pinch points.

The benefits are endless: natural debris will flow freely, more depth will be created in the water, larger fish like trout and salmon should have more success at spawning, and smaller fish can take refuge. In years to come we hope this section of the river will be a hive of activity for wildlife.

Christmas preparations are taking shape in the coming weeks. The Great Barn will welcome families for a traditional Christmas story. The fun will then continue in the Great Hall with games, music and Father Christmas with a present.

Wrap up warm and follow a themed trail around the gardens, and complete your visit with a trip to the tea-room and shop. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/east-riddlesden-hall to book tickets

In 2017 there will be plenty of new experiences to be had.

You could join our house team first thing in a morning before we open the doors to the public. Discover what it is like to unlock the doors, open the curtains and prepare the house for visitors.

A mixture of conservation and history will be brought to life in intimate groups, breakfast will be included, a small gift for each person to take home and a chance to meet the House Steward for coffee and questions.

For curious-minded people this will make the perfect gift. Tickets will be available on the website soon.