A NEW generation of youngsters are to be given the chance to learn more about the flora and fauna that inspired childrens author and illustrator Beatrix Potter.

Brockhole, on the shores of Windermere, has launched a Beatrix Potter trail.

Potter, who died in 1943, was very close to Brockhole because it was a lavish lakeside home for wealthy Manchester silk and yarn merchants, William and Edith Gaddum.

Edith Gaddum was the Potter's cousin and the writer sent letters to her children Jim and Molly at Brockhole, including one based on Jeremy Fisher, complete with illustrations.


Ruth Suddaby, Brockhole learning co-ordinator, said the centre was keen to introduce families to the wildlife that had inspired her.

She explained: “Our amazing grounds play host to a wealth of the creatures which appear in the beautiful tales. We even share our name with Mr Brock the badger.

“Our Beatrix Potter trail features a series of information boards where children can learn more about the national park’s fantastic fauna and have fun doing rubbings on them. Who knows, they may even see a real rabbit, frog, fox, mouse or hedgehog!”

According to Gaddum family letters, Beatrix Potter and her husband William Heelis attended William and Edith’s golden wedding anniversary celebrations at Brockhole in 1936.

Ms Suddaby added: “Given the history, heritage and our unique setting, we are hoping the new trail proves a hit with visitors of all ages. It might help inspire others to follow Beatrix Potter’s lead and become writers, painters and naturalists!”

For more information, visit www.brockhole.co.uk

* DID YOU KNOW: Beatrix Potter's first children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was published in 1902. She had experienced difficulty finding a publisher, having sent the manuscript to six publishers, and receiving six rejections. However, the book was eventually accepted by the London firm of Frederick Warne & Co. It was an instant success and Beatrix went on to produce a total of twenty-three books, all published by Warne.