I think the farmer who tenants the Summerhouse field must be a reader of this blog. Just nine days after writing I hadn’t seen this field pastured for years, there were cattle lazing and grazing about among the tall grasses this morning.
Although it is well known that Roseberry Topping is owned by the National Trust, it is perhaps not so well known that the Summerhouse field is in private ownership. The Trust did not gain ownership of the actual summit until 1997 when Lady Fry of Cleveland Lodge donated it along with the southern slope. The northern and eastern slopes, Roseberry Common, Newton Moor and part of Newton Wood, but excluding the summit, had been brought by the Trust in 1984. The purchase was jointly funded by the Cleveland County Council, the North York Moors National Park, the Countryside Commission and with various bequests. The story goes that Lady Fry was so annoyed that the public assumed the whole of Roseberry was in Trust ownership that she ended up giving the summit to it.