The is­land that started a last­ing legacy

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

Af­ter 124 years in pri­vate hands, the is­land in the Lake Dis­trict that in­spired the found­ing of the Na­tional trust has been given to the char­ity.

When Gras­mere Is­land, in Lake Gras­mere, was put up for sale in 1893, it at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Canon Hard­wicke rawns­ley, who was al­ready wor­ried about there be­ing no or­gan­i­sa­tion to pro­tect the Lake­land land­scape from de­vel­op­ment by pri­vate own­ers. He held a meet­ing with Sir robert Hunter and Oc­tavia Hill and, just over a year later, the three founded the Na­tional trust.

‘It is no­to­ri­ous that dur­ing the last two years the top of Snow­don, the is­land in the mid­dle of Gras­mere lake, and the Lodore falls have all come into the mar­ket,’ lamented rawns­ley at the time. ‘Had such a trust as that now pro­posed been in ex­is­tence, each of these places might have been ob­tained for the na­tion.’

the four-acre is­land, which is also a haven for wildlife, es­pe­cially herons, can be seen from Al­lan Bank House, Wordsworth’s and, later, rawns­ley’s home—the Canon do­nated it to the na­tion when he died. ‘It’s fan­tas­tic that the view from Al­lan Bank, which has in­spired so many, will now be pro­tected for­ever, for ev­ery­one,’ says lo­cal trust man­ager Dave Al­mond, who is also con­cerned about pro­tect­ing a ‘mag­nif­i­cent “Me­dusa­like” vet­eran oak’ from younger trees that sur­round it. ‘It’s an ex­cit­ing prospect,’ he con­tin­ues, ‘and we’re look­ing for­ward to car­ry­ing out some wildlife sur­veys, such as bat sur­veys, to see what species are cur­rently present.’

Pre­served for the na­tion: serene Gras­mere Is­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.