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We do, however, have an extensive record of correspondence between Potter and the early Trust officers, wherein she frequently expresses her displeasure at their lack of understanding of local conditions.


Professor Linda Lear

History Department

University of Maryland

Baltimore County




As a breeder of Herdwick sheep and shepherd of a traditional fell stock on Buttermere and Brackenthwaite Commons for over 25 years, I view the behaviour of the NT regarding these farms, both past and proposed with total incredulity.


Pauline Blair


There is huge affection, both locally and nationally, for this small family run fell farm and the beautiful environment in which it is located. It is an affection that we thought was shared by the National Trust, particularly as this was the farm that the National Trust selected for a visit by Her Majesty the Queen when she last came to Coniston in 1985; a visit that Her Majesty greatly enjoyed.


Professor Sheila Crispin


It’s our policy to keep the best of the past


John Darlington

NT Area Manager for the Lake District

On BBC Country File programme in March


In addition whereas previously the Lake District has been managed by two area managers, this role is now undertaken by myself, heading up a team of eight Property Managers.


John Darlington

NT Area Manager for the Lake District

In a letter to NT tenants in February


(He should have added that there is no one on this team with any hill farming interest or expertise!)



A great many bodies, the general public, and National Trust members are incensed by the pure arrogance and lack of negotiation on this issue. Persons with neither the knowledge nor experience required have made the decision.


Glenn and Dorothy Wilkinson

Tilberthwaite Farm



LA21 8DG


Perhaps your readers also think that the Trust’s talk of “scientific evidence and calculations of how the farm support payments were going to go” all sounds very reasonable, but in fact there are some deeply illogical and tendentious points being made by the Trust.


Geoff Brown


Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association


By breaking up this historic farm you drive yet another nail into the coffin of fell farming which is still recovering from the ravages of the Foot and Mouth disaster.


Peter Greenhill


Mitchell’s Auction Company Ltd

Lakeland Livestock Centre



CA13 0QQ


This wasn’t a snap decision. Our view is based on lots of scientific evidence and calculations of how farm support payments were going to go. We are not just sitting here in offices making things up.


Jane Watson

NT Communications Officer


(but the Trust has signally failed to back up this statement with any written proof)


I do not think she would have approved. Beatrix had a very up and down history with the National Trust, which is seen in her books, and I think they are living up to what she expected of them.


John Heelis

Beatrix Potter’s great nephew


High Yewdale is a good viable farm. It has some of the best Herdwicks in the Lake District.


Willie Richardson

Gatesgarth Farm



(the fourth largest farm in the Lake District)


Your report (Westmorland Gazette January) about the plans for the National Trust to break up High Yewdale Farm is distressing.


Judy Taylor

(Author, Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman)

31 Meadowbank

Primrose Hill Road




Letters to the Westmorland Gazette February 4th 2005)


I feel it will be the beginning of the end of all fell sheep in this area as Yewdale Farm is the corner-stone of the Coniston Fells


Alan Wilson

Coniston Hall Farm



(one of the three National Trust Farms in the Coniston area with a hefted fell flock – the other two are farmed by Glenn and Dorothy Wilkinson at Tilberthwaite farm and Jonny and Ruth Birkett at High Yewdale)


Your report about the plans of the National Trust to split up High Yewdale Farm, near Coniston, and rent off its buildings is of concern to the Beatrix Potter Society.


Roger Cutliffe


Beatrix Potter Society


>I am appalled by the Trust’s total lack of sensitivity and disregard for the wishes of local people and farmers alike.


C. Heaton