Lowther Estate Today
In 1699, Sir John Lowther, later to become the first Viscount Lonsdale, wrote the last instalment of his memoirs. His work included chapters on Morality, Religion, Civil Prudence and Health and from them we learn that Sir John was one of the earliest vegetarians – “no fish nor feathered fowl should lose its life to support mine”. We also learn that Sir John was a keen conservationist. This tradition – of caring for the landscape with an interest in its past and its future – continues to run deep at Lowther.
“We allow ourselves to be hampered by the geology, ancient trees, pastures and archeological remains and we work within that constraint.”
Trees are a fundamental part of Lowther. Around two million trees populate the estate, many of them with stories to tell (see estate history). The woodlands are managed (by Lowther Estate Forestry), not just for their economic resource but also for their wider environmental benefit. Public access is enabled and encouraged where it is safe.
In the 21st century, the Lowther Estate – in spite of all its past ups and downs – still spans from Penrith to the Howgills with land further afield in West Cumbria and the central Lake District. The home park comprises 1000 acres of woodlands and 3000 acres of farmland, (Lowther Park Farms). 12,000 acres of land in the Langdales and Grasmere – from Bowfell in the west to Fairfield in the east, south to Loughrigg, some of the finest fell-walking country in the Lakes – are also managed by the estate.
At the heart of the estate, Lowther Castle & Gardens preside – slowly emerging from an era of neglect and becoming something new again, neither forgetting the past nor ignoring the possibilities of the future.