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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 09:24 GMT
Beatrix Potter's farm broken up
High Yewdale Farm
High Yewdale Farm is being divided among local farmers
A controversial move to break up the former hill farm of Beatrix Potter in Cumbria is to go ahead.

The Peter Rabbit author left High Yewdale, in Coniston, to the National Trust when she died and it has been run as a fully working farm.

When the current farmer retired, it was felt the farm was no longer viable and a decision was made to divide the land between neighbouring properties.

This was reviewed following strong opposition, but has now been backed up.

The National Trust said that the decision to amalgamate had not been taken lightly, and it recognised the strength of feeling surrounding the issue.

For this reason, the board of trustees had chosen to review it, but it was backed up in a unanimous vote on Wednesday night.

Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter left the farm to the National Trust

John Darlington, Lake District area manager for the National Trust, said: "We've looked at the farm and the changing economic situation here and after much internal debate came to the conclusion that the future business of the farm is very limited.

"Therefore what we tried to do is to maintain Beatrix Potter's legacy, which is the whole farmed landscape, and share the land from that farm amongst neighbouring farms to strengthen their business and make sure they can continue into the future."

He said the National Trust was concerned that hefted Herdwick sheep, the descendents of the flock owned by the author, would remain on the fell.

The Yewdale Action Team said they were disappointed at the decision.

Their campaign was backed by Prince Charles, and the Queen wrote a letter expressing her concern.

Alistair Cameron, from the High Yewdale Action Group said: "We are very disappointed, not just here at the action team, but in the whole community."

End of an era for author's farm
05 Oct 05 |  Cumbria
Fears over letting author's farm
02 Sep 05 |  Cumbria
Revamp for Peter Rabbit complex
15 Nov 04 |  Cumbria

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