Forgive the delayed blog. I’ve not been able to write for two weeks.
She stood in her loose dress, tatty-smart amidst the clutter of her sprawling farmyard, hair wild in the wind stirring the long grasses whipping against the rusting carcasses of ruined farm machinery. Her expression satisfaction as she told us about the fields which surrounded us.
“My husband bought each one as it came on the market, gradually creating a farm out of a small holding.” She waved at the shanty buildings surrounding us. “We wanted those over the road, but the price was tops and it’s only scrubby. The National Trust bought them, so now we rent off them, which is perfect because we’ve no huge mortgage to repay.”
Her expression dropped as we said we loved The Trust for protecting the environment. “To me, a farmer, The Trust is an enemy.They dislike us using pesticides and pollutants which we see as normal.”
I didn’t tell her whose side I was on that count. The Trust owns much of England’s coastline and without such a force this country might look more like Southern France where development has devoured the coastal beauty I loved when I was young.
A short walk from the farm, puffing after a steep climb, we stood to admire the view and got chatting to the National Trust volunteer manning the old lookout post. He told us the land stretching a mile east had been bought by three women to protect it from hoteliers who wished to vastly expand what is an ugly complex. The Trust came to the women’s rescue and is actually protecting the natural environment those businessmen claim with a profusion of signs to be protecting! We need The Trust. For over one hundred years this organisation, unique in the world, supported by ordinary people like us, has had a great influence on the English landscape.
We came across two couples, one German, the other Dutch who they said they took out life-memberships of The Trust to help with its excellent work, how good is that! If I had their money would I protect their countries?
I’ll post something more in a day or two.