Communication between the senior management of the National Trust and it’s tenants was the order of the day at the village hall in Allerford, West Somerset recently when Director General Hilary McGrady, accompanied by Mark Harold, Director for Land and Nature, met with some 50 residential, agricultural and commercial tenants.
Appointed to her current post earlier in the year, the Director General gave a summary of her career with the Trust and set out it’s future strategy.
An open forum for residential tenants confirmed the progress being made in improving the condition of many homes and the difficulties associated with living in very old properties, some of which are Grade II Listed . The very high cost of heating was debated along with affordable rents and the maintaining of local communities. Mark Harold then spoke about the Trust’s plans for land, nature and farming.
The value of historic local knowledge was brought forward by the audience and the need to work together in the shared passion for the beautiful countryside .
The difficulties facing the Trust on the controversial issues of TB in cattle, badger culling and hunting were acknowledged.
The Director General was keen to stress that listening to local tenants was part of her remit and she had the opportunity to do so directly in the informal session afterwards when refreshments were served.
All agreed it had been a valuable exercise and community evening.