THE National Trust (0225 790290) has introduced a programme of short-break working holidays for volunteers at selected countryside properties in Cheshire, Shropshire, Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

The projects, which include the chance to work on properties such as Fountains Abbey and Beninborough Hall, are open to anyone over the age of 18, and involve a minimum of one-and-a-half days' work. Instruction on conservation work is provided by Trust staff and each project has an experienced leader. For details, send a first-class stamp to: The National Trust (Short Breaks), Goddards, 27 Tadcaster Road, Dringhouses, York YO2 2QG.