Catching up with the Beatrix Potter Society

Credit: Brian Deegan via Wikimedia

Peter Rabbit straw statue at Snugburys.

The latest issue of Pottering About, the newsletter devoted to the events of the Beatrix Potter Society, welcomed August with a few seasonal tidbits:

  • Green thumbs interested in planting a garden inspired by Potter are invited to peruse the Beatrix Potter Society’s website. Only available to members, this particular section of the website lists plants grown at Hill Top, Potter’s farmhouse now protected by the UK’s National Trust. Plants are grouped by the month in which they bloom and are accompanied by photos for quick identification.

  • The UK celebrated National Meadows Day with an announcement from the National Trust that Hill Top’s three meadows have been successfully returned to their pre-WWII condition, when they were ploughed over for crops. "We manage the land using the same traditional practices that would have been used in Beatrix Potter's day,” said National Trust’s Paul Farringdon in a recent article in Country Living. The Hill Top fields are alive once again with flora and fauna and are “believed to be some of the most species-rich fields in the National Trust portfolio." This is a big deal since over 97 percent of the UK’s meadows have disappeared in the name of agriculture since the 1930s. Interestingly, the Potter society also reports that the “re-wilding” movement that focuses on returning land to its most primitive state puts meadows like the one at Hill Top at risk, with hundreds of species of wildflowers and animals likely to disappear.

  • Finally, a giant Peter Rabbit made entirely out of straw is being taken down. Constructed in 2016 in front of a Snugburys ice cream shop in Nantwich, Cheshire, the 40-foot structure was the victim of arsonists in 2017, but was rebuilt a year later, much to the delight of local fans. Snugbury’s creates straw figures annually and proceeds from sales related to the sculpture (chocolate bunnies, theme-flavored ice cream) are donated to the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, a UK-based charity that facilitates vacations for children with disabilities and terminal illnesses.