Thorneythwaite Farm

The National Trust has acquired approximately 303 acres of land at Thorneythwaite Farm in Borrowdale, in the Lake District, following a successful bid at auction. This beautiful landscape will now be looked after for ever, for everyone.

We are passionate about conserving the beauty and uniqueness of the Lake District. We bid for this land because it offers such amazing places for wildlife including woodland featuring veteran trees, riverside fields, open craggy fell and wood pasture. It’s home to a wealth of important wildlife including redstarts and pied flycatchers.

The land was split into two plots by the auctioneers: the farm land and a farm house. The Trust used its charitable funds to bid for the land rather than the building.

We were aware that there was international interest in the lots, and that it had been marketed widely, so there was risk it could be bought up by a private owner from anywhere in the world, or a property investor. There were certainly no guarantees that a local farmer would have secured it. We simply don’t know who else was in the market for it and what their intentions would have been.

We bid above the guide price but we had an independent valuation which was significantly higher than that. We are confident that we paid the right price to secure this very important stretch of Lakeland landscape. We did not have the funds to buy both lots, the farm house and the land, and for us the land was more of a priority than the farmhouse.

We will continue to farm this land and we believe we can look after it in way which benefits nature, our visitors and the local community. We already manage much of the surrounding land in Borrowdale, which means we can take a ‘big picture’ view of how we look after the wider landscape. That allows us to continue farming and at the same time deliver healthy soil, natural water management, thriving natural habitats and continued public access.

We will also explore how we may be able to use the farm to slow the flow of the Upper River Derwent, thereby contributing to the prevention of flooding downstream in communities such as Keswick and Cockermouth.

The Trust has a long history of and is committed to the tradition of Herdwick farming. We have an existing stock of 21,000 Herdwick sheep and we own 54 farms in the Fells.

The land will be managed by a tenant, and we have already had several expressions of interest. It will be farmed with nature in mind but it will continue to support a flock of Herdwick sheep.

Endangered water voles return to Yorkshire’s Malham Tarn after fifty year absence

One hundred water voles will be reintroduced into the National Trust’s Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales this weekend, in what is believed to be the highest upland water vole reintroduction project (by altitude) ever carried out in Britain.

This will be the first time the endangered mammals have been seen at Malham Tarn – England’s highest freshwater lake (377m) – in fifty years.

National Trust ecologists believe Malham Tarn’s water voles were wiped out in the 1960s by mink, which escaped from fur farms nearby.

180. Water Vole (Malham)

Water vole at Malham Tarn (c) National Trust Images / Paul C Dunn

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BBC’s Charlotte Smith: my TOP moments from BBC Countryfile Live

BBC Countryfile Live, the first live festival based on the BBC’s hit countryside show, ended on a high yesterday. Over four days thousands descended on Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, for sun-kissed days of debate, farm animals and play.

Charlotte Smith, presenter of BBC Farming Today, spoke to us about her top moments from hosting the speakers in the National Trust Theatre at BBC Countryfile Live. Continue reading

Talking APPLES with Killerton Estate’s Fiona at BBC Countryfile Live

We caught up up with Fiona Hailstone, from the National Trust’s Killerton Estate, Devon, to talk all things ‘apple’ at BBC Countryfile Live.

Killerton Estate scooped Best Overall Drink award for their apple juice in the National Trust’s Fine Farm Produce Awards last Thursday.

Orchard manager Fiona was at BBC Countryfile Live this weekend, speaking to visitors about Killerton Estate’s cider – another Fine Farm Produce Award winner.

Killerton Estate cider, a winner of the National Trust's 2013 Fine Farm Produce Awards.

 

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EIGHT things we learned from Ray Mears at BBC Countryfile Live

Yesterday National Trust ranger Kate Martin caught up with TV adventurer and bushcraft expert Ray Mears at BBC Countryfile Live.

They were joined in the National Trust’s 50 things area at the festival by a group of children for a spot of den building.

Ranger Kate Martin shares the EIGHT things she learned, talking dens and survival with Britain’s top adventurer. Continue reading

Amy Liptrot’s THE OUTRUN wins Wainwright Prize at BBC Countryfile Live

Amy Liptrot’s debut book was named winner of the prestigious award for nature writing at a special event at BBC Countryfile Live this afternoon.

The Outrun, her account of reconnecting with her native Orkney, beat five other titles to win the Wainwright Golden Beer Prize.

Amy Liptrot

Amy Liptrot

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