E-news: This week our Chief Executive looks at the issue of the National Trust and Thorneythwaite
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The National Trust is a huge organisation which owns both very large numbers of historic and important buildings and swathes of wonderful countryside. Its long record of preserving the nation's heritage is extraordinary and across its vast estate it would be ludicrous to expect every decision it makes to please everyone.
The current outcry over the Trust's decision to purchase land at Thorneythwaite Farm in Borrowdale, Cumbria at an inflated price, and in doing so prevent local farmers from maintaining the farm as a traditional domestic agricultural holding, may however be more than just a disagreement. Underlying the concern stated so clearly by the local farming community and its supporters like Lord Bragg is a feeling that the Trust consciously, or more likely unconsciously, has adopted a part of the modern environmentalist creed which suggests that human input into the countryside is in nearly all ways negative and should be minimised.
Rather than celebrating the fact that nearly every landscape in our islands was created, and has been maintained, by generations of farmers this ideology believes that farmers are a problem, and that radically different management with less intervention is preferable. This would obviously not conserve the countryside in its current form but radically change it both by altering landscapes and, crucially, removing the role of the the indigenous population. People are not a fashionable concern amongst these environmentalists, but the countryside is not just a collection of fields, woods and fells viewed from a train window. It is every bit as much about the communities who live and work in that landscape.
The National Trust should, and largely does, understand this, but in Borrowdale it has made a mistake. I hope that it is big enough to admit that, to negotiate with the new owners of the farm buildings at Thorneythwaite to put the farm back together and, most importantly, to put the rural community back at the centre of its decision making processes. It has as much of a duty to conserve the community that created the Cumbrian landscape as it does to conserve that landscape itself.

Tim Bonner
Chief Executive
Follow me on Twitter @CA_TimB

Join us as Countryside Day raises the curtain on the three-day Open Meeting at Cheltenham - Friday 11th November
Defra Food Grants to boost food tourism 
Food communities across England are encouraged to apply for a new, dedicated grant to champion regional food and drink. The grant scheme forms part of Defra’s Great British Food Campaign, which was launched at the start of 2016. The campaign aims to celebrate our world class food industry and culture, drive growth and jobs in the sector and establish Britain’s reputation as a great food nation.
Projects should take a collaborative approach, joining-up local food and tourism organisations. 

The total grant fund is £150,000. The most that can be applied for per project is £25,000
Applications will close 26 September 2016. 
Applicants must register using the following link:


Balthazar King to parade at Hampshire Country Sports Day 
Parading at this year's Hampshire Country Sports Day on 11th September at Tichborne Park near Alresford will be BALTHAZAR KING.  A dual Cheltenham Festival winner and runner-up in the 2014 Crabbie's Grand National, he was one of the most popular horses in training and captured the hearts of the public when having to spend six weeks at the University of Liverpool Equine Hospital after suffering broken ribs and a punctured lung in a crashing fall at the Canal Turn in the 2015 Grand National.  Balthazar King returned to the racecourse at Cheltenham in March in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Race but has now been retired to his owners in Hampshire and will go hunting.  He bowed out having won 16 races under rules and nearly £500,000 in prize-money during a long and distinguished career. Read more about the day at

Win a Morgan WIN a Morgan 4/4: the definitive British sports car.
Worth over £33,000.

Only 2,000 tickets available.
• Worth over £33,000
• Limited to 2,000 tickets, open to all
• Ticket price £50
• All ticket entries must correctly answer the question below
• The draw will take place on 11th November at Cheltenham Countryside Day.
A quick qualifying question has been set! Follow this link to answer the question and enter the draw.

Win tickets to our Aintree Countryside Day on 23rd October
Aintree Countryside Day featuring the Old Roan Chase on Sunday 23rd October 2016

Gates open at 10.45 with the Countryside Alliance Charity Race kicking things off at 12.00 noon.

We are delighted to offer you the chance to win one of five family tickets to attend the Countryside Day ft Old Roan Chase on Sunday 23 October. The ticket admits two adults and two children under 17.

Throughout the day you’ll have the chance to watch the runners and riders make a play for glory on the Aintree turf in an afternoon packed with racing action, featuring the Grade 2, Old Roan Chase.

For a chance to win, simply complete your details in the form here. This competition will close on Thursday 29th September and winners will be chosen at random on Friday 30th September. Follow event updates on Twitter at #CountrysideDay.

General racecourse admission tickets are also available at and you can receive 25% using the discount code CA16.

Lancashire Game & Country Festival
Lancashire Game & Country Festival  will be held on Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September at Scorton Showground, PR31BN

The Festival is a celebration of rural Lancashire life. You will find everything you need for a great country day out including clay pigeon shooting, dog agility trials, birds of prey, gundogs and terriers and of course The Food Village- for all those wonderful tastes of the countryside and essential purchases. 

All within striking distance of the M6

Adults (16+) £10
Children (10 – 16yrs) £5 
Under 10yrs - FREE    

For further information: 

Shooting badges

This season’s shooting badges are now available in dark blue, with game bird illustrations by Ben Hoskyns on the sweepstake card. The badges and sweepstake cards are once again brought to you by Pol Roger Champagne.

Purchase a badge

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