A gift of living, breathing rural heritage
In 2015, Michael Bottomley left High Lickbarrow Farm to the National Trust in his Will. Thanks to his family’s legacy and the help of our members and supporters, we’re working to conserve this very special place for generations to come.
Nestled in the Lake District lowlands and overlooking Windermere and the distant fells, High Lickbarrow Farm is a rare survivor of a bygone Lakeland way of life. Its traditional farmhouse, with a formal garden and topiary, is set among craggy hills, wetland and woodland – all carefully cared for by Libby Bottomley for over 60 years. Her sympathetic, centuries-old farming practices – including horse-drawn carts and cattle-only grazing – protected High Lickbarrow as an oasis of calm and a species-rich habitat.
In 2003 Libby’s brother Michael took over its care. A conservation architect and artist, he shared her passion for looking after the landscape. And by donating the farm to us in his Will, he made sure that vision continued.
Giving visitors a unique glimpse into historic rural life
From February 2017, we’ve made it possible for visitors to spend a day at High Lickbarrow ‘living’ the Bottomley family’s everyday life. In the farmhouse, Michael’s paintings still hang on the walls and decades-old farm diaries still sit in the study. In the barn, Libby’s nineteenth-century carts wait where she left them.
Conserving a landscape full of diverse wildlife
From the colourful wildflowers in the pastures to the white-claw crayfish in the becks and the birds nesting among the juniper scrub, the farm is brimming with wildlife. Now, thanks to our members and supporters, we’re working to conserve its fragile habitats and help them thrive, along with the farm’s incredibly rare Albion cattle – the biggest herd in the country.
Michael gave a gift to future generations when he left High Lickbarrow in his Will, and it’s your support that’s helping to keep its essence alive. By joining as a member, making a donation or remembering us in your Will, you’re playing a huge part in caring for extraordinary landscapes and properties so they’re never forgotten.