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New Face for the National Trust

This is the first of a series of articles focussing on the outlets currently stocking Tubular Fells.  Largely independent, these stores are iconic, Lakeland retailers in their own right and many are historic elements of the townscapes in which they lie.  The first article examines the new National Trust shop in Grasmere - the first, Tubular Fells map stockist in The Lake District.

In early 2010 I had already decided to produce Tubular Fells and to get it professionally printed, but in the back of my mind I wondered how to sell the fruits of my cartographic project.  Initially I had contemplated loading up the Land Rover and selling it from pub to pub or other places where I knew walkers might call and might be interested in my map.

Viv Parkin the shop's manager Fortune prevailed and in March 2011 I sought out the Fix the Fells stand at the Outdoors Show and the rest, as they say, is history.  From that meeting, the manager of the soon to be re-opened National Trust shop in Grasmere got wind of my industry and decided it would be an ideal product to sell in the new shop.  New, iconic and modern looking for younger clientele, I was told the Japanese would love Tubular Fells!  Bowing to others' expertise, I was astonished when the National Trust bought half of my stock and started selling it from day one of their opening.  I know at the back of it all was their support for me and as I was forwarding £1 from each map to the Fix the Fells project, it was a logical investment for them especially with many of the NT's own rangers involved with Fix the Fells.

Peter next to the luxury framed maps!I have to say that Viv Parkin, the manager, along with Chris Shaw and other staff have provided Grasmere with an excellent resource.  Previously without any presence on the ground, the National Trust have now provided somewhere to go and relax in the comfort of an armchair whilst mulling over maps, digital information stations (great for the kids) and perusing the merchandise in the shop.  All of this can be accomplished over a few minutes relaxation in the comfy sofas and in the future this area will be utilised for talks and discussions given by outdoors' types.  Before this date many people felt there was something lacking in the village and many visitors often asked where the National Trust had a property locally, not realising the Trust's main ownership in the area is the land and the many estate farms.

Chris (right) is the other human face in the shopI can heartily recommend a visit to the shop/information centre, not only to check out its facilities but also to see the wonderful framed copies of Tubular Fells so lovingly produced by the gallery of Heaton Cooper.  A little out of my price range, the luxuriously produced maps would make an ideal gift for those visiting Lakeland on a landmark trip or holiday of a lifetime.

Relax in this newly appointed roomAnyway, that's enough of the plugs.  Get down to Grasmere and take a look next time you're in the village.  Chris and other members of staff are great advocates for the area and have a wealth of local knowledge if you need help or advice about walks in the area or just tourist information in general.  Chris writes her own blogs via Twitter and could be seen as the real "Mrs Grasmere".  Next time you're craving for Grasmere gingerbread, get into the village but don't forget to call in the National Trust Shop across the road, you'll definitely be pleasantly surprised. PB

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It's brilliant, a work of genius!
John Foster, Hertfordshire

>£10,000 - THANKS!

Since April 2011 'Tubular Fells' has now raised just over £10000! >£10000 raised for Fix the FellsThis is an astounding figure and thanks to everyone who has shown their support by buying the map.  This figure is enough to produce over 100 metres of stone pitched path.  Many thanks to everyone who's purchased the map so far from as far afield as Leeds, London, Canada, Massachusetts, New Zealand and Hawaii!
  • £10-one metre of revegetation alongside a path
  • £25-one tonne of stone moved to site
  • £50-one 25kg bag of special upland grass seed
  • £100-one metre of stone pitched path
  • £250-one stone lined path cross drain
  • £600-one hour of helicopter flying time to move stone