In an amazing act of generosity, Josephine Baker has given the CRT her Surrey dairy farm, situated between Frensham and Tilford.
The gift follows in the generous tradition of Jo’s father, Alfred Allnatt, who gave the painting “The Adoration of the Magi” to Kings College, Cambridge.
Jo has reached an age where she would rather be gardening, listening to classical music and singing, rather than milking, “mucking out” and filling in a stream of ridiculous Defra forms.
She has given the CRT the farm in the hope that the Trust will ensure its survival as a working dairy farm, at a time when dairy farming in Britain is going through a politically induced crisis.
One of the last dairy farms in Surrey, the gift consists of over 200 acres, three cottages, a length of the beautiful River Wey, mixed woodland, grass meadows and sixty Jersey cows and their calves.
Michael Clear, the new farm tenant, his wife Beverly, and their two young children have already moved into Pierrepont farm and appropriately Michael’s last job was running a herd of Jersey cattle on the island of Jersey.
Robin Page, Chairman of the CRT says: “It is an incredibly generous gift from Jo Baker and we are going to do our best to help Michael run the farm at a profit, keep the wildlife of Pierrpont and produce good milk that people will want to buy. We feel that other, larger charities should have led the way in bringing the scandal of the dairy industry and its vanishing wildlife to the attention of the public – but failing action from them, the CRT is again happy to accept the challenge”.
Simon Saggers, Director of the CRT says: “Dairy farmers, dairy farming and the wildlife linked to grassland are in crisis and we will desperately try to keep Pierrepont running as a wildlife friendly, farmer friendly, customer friendly and cow friendly farm. We would love to hear from all those who want to help. It is going to be a challenge and we will need all the help we can get”.