Popularity threatens mohair outlet

2 February 2001

Popularity threatens mohair outlet

By FWi staffA FARMERS diversification scheme created to support the main farm business is under threat because it is so popular.

Mary Bell, of Crookabeck Farm, Patterdale, Cumbria, has spent nine years building a business which sells clothes made from her angora goat flock.

But her success is now under threat following a complaint by a neighbour and a site visit by 16 members of the Lake District National Park committee.

The delegation visited the farm last week to consider whether to take enforcement action against Mrs Bell over unauthorised developments

These include the use of a farm building for sales of mohair clothes and signs directing passers-by from the nearby A592.

A report by the authoritys enforcement officer Graham Adgie concludes: The level of traffic and its potential to grow as a result of the growth of retail activity and unauthorised advertisements encouraging passing trade to the farm is now causing concern to some residents of Patterdale.

But Mrs Bell hit back: It seems that there is no such thing as diversification in a national park.

I dont think the Lake District should be turned into a museum. There are people who have to work here and should be allowed to do so.

The national park committee will make its decision on 6 February.

A spokesman said the issue was unauthorised retailing and advanced advertising, and their relationship to farm diversification in a national park.

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