Our coun­try­side is not in Trust-wor­thy hands

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

WHAT­EVER the pros and cons of the bad­ger cull, it’s clear from Lady Scars­dale’s let­ter ( July 20) that the Na­tional Trust is not talk­ing to its tenants or its na­tion­wide mem­bers. The pub­lic per­cep­tion is that the Trust, like other na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions, has been taken over by the met­ro­pol­i­tan elite and is sub­ject to their fash­ion­able po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

As one of the coun­try’s largest landown­ers, the Trust’s ten­ant farm­ers play a ma­jor role in the preser­va­tion of the coun­try­side and sup­port it fi­nan­cially. How­ever, Lon­don has no in­ter­est in farm­ing. The Trust’s de­ci­sion to aban­don the sav­ing of coun­try houses, without any pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, has dev­as­tated many mem­bers. Now, a sim­i­lar edict to con­cen­trate on sav­ing the coun­try­side and its wildlife, based on a Beatrix Pot­ter view of the land and re­gard­less of the ef­fect on agri­cul­ture, will upset farm­ers.

For the Trust, the coun­try­side is for vis­i­tors and leisure ac­tiv­i­ties and there seems to be no in­ter­est in those who live and work there. Cot­tages are in­creas­ingly turned into hol­i­day homes, yet young peo­ple can­not find homes.

It is also ridicu­lous to blame farm­ers for the demise of wild bees and hedge­hogs. Farm­ing is of­ten a dif­fi­cult bal­ance be­tween food pro­duc­tion and the preser­va­tion of wildlife. Mary Lloyd, Flintshire

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