Trust in the fu­ture–but what of the past?

Country Life Every Week - - Athena - Cul­tural Cru­sader

IN Fe­bru­ary last year, the Na­tional Trust an­nounced a joint in­vest­ment of £4.25 mil­lion with Sports Eng­land to de­velop new cy­cle trails at ‘10 of our places’ over the next 18 months. The in­ten­tion was to cre­ate ‘way­marked all-weather trails [that] will al­low vis­i­tors to use pedal power to get ac­tive and ex­plore the great outdoors’. A laud­able un­der­tak­ing to en­cour­age healthy liv­ing, you might think. But the de­tails that have emerged are not merely un­ex­pected, they are wor­ry­ing.

The coyly de­scribed ‘places’ turn out to be the land­scapes of a se­ries of ma­jor houses: Walling­ton, Nostell Pri­ory, Calke Abbey, Croome, Ick­worth, Wim­pole, Oster­ley, Blick­ling, Kingston Lacy and

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