Roseberry from the Folly field

It was announced last week that the Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP, plans to set up an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to “apply parliamentary scrutiny to the operational and strategic direction of the National Trust1Quinn, B. (2022). Tory critical of National Trust to chair parliamentary group dedicated to charity. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/feb/04/tory-mp-sets-up-all-party-group-on-national-trust-without-telling-charity [Accessed 6 Feb. 2022]..

This seems to be specifically in response to the Trust’s recent report examining the links with its properties and collections to colonialism and historic slavery and how “it looks after these connections as part of our broader commitment to ensure that these links are properly represented, shared and interpreted2National Trust. (2021). The National Trust cares for places and collections on behalf of the nation, and many have direct and indirect. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/addressing-the-histories-of-slavery-and-colonialism-at-the-national-trust [Accessed 6 Feb. 2022]..

All too woke for Dr. Murrison. I have absolutely no issue with the Trust’s report and believe that history should be fully told, warts and all.

Although the name of the group implies “All-Party”, I do wonder about its composition. The rules for APPGs state that “Groups must be open to all Members of both Houses3Parliament.uk. (2015). Guide to the Rules. [online] Available at: https://old.parliament.uk/documents/pcfs/all-party-groups/guide-to-rules/guide.html [Accessed 6 Feb. 2022].. Does that mean the opposition parties will have to be represented to maintain a balance?

The National Trust have not been informed let alone consulted about the setting up of the APPG4Quinn, B. (2022). Tory critical of National Trust to chair parliamentary group dedicated to charity. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/feb/04/tory-mp-sets-up-all-party-group-on-national-trust-without-telling-charity [Accessed 6 Feb. 2022]..

In spite of blue skies, Roseberry Topping was in shade when I passed by the Folly, on this bitterly cold morning.

Roseberry is of course a National Trust property but contrary to what many people think the Folly field is not.

As far as I know, the hill has no past connection to colonialism and slavery. The Trust does not charge for enjoying the property, yet there is a cost to maintaining its beauty. These costs will be paid for by the Trust’s various revenue streams: membership fees and entrance fees for its houses and collections.

The National Trust is doing a wonderful and worthwhile job. It does not need political interference or the promulgation of extreme views.

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