A matter of Trust
THE National Trust and the Lake District have been entwined for more than a century. To claim we’ve somehow lost interest in farming (‘Save the farmers, not just the land’, Agromenes, September 7) is simply not true. We remain as committed as ever to the protection and enhancement of the Lakes’ natural and cultural heritage, as shown in the application to UNESCO for World Heritage Site status, which we have been very active in supporting.
We look after 50,000 hectares [about 123,550 acres] of land in the Lake District, we let 54 fell farms and maintain a flock of 21,000 sheep, most of which are the Herdwicks so beloved of Beatrix Potter. We are proud of our track record in maintaining the traditions of fell farming, of using local skills, knowledge and expertise.
No one can really say with any certainty who would have bought the land at auction if the Trust hadn’t secured it for the nation. We don’t pretend to have all the answers when it comes to looking after one of the most beautiful places in the world, but what we do know is that we can only do it by working with others—local farmers and the local community—and that’s what we will continue to do. Patrick Begg, Rural Enterprises Director, National Trust