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Saving Dartington Hall Estate
Dartington Hall Estate has an incredible history, especially that of the 20th Century. Home to the pioneering Elmhirsts; it was the birthplace of the welfare state, led the way in progressive education and spearheaded the development of innovative farming methods, land use and community living. It played host to many of the leading thinkers, artists and musicians of the day. Its roll call is extraordinary and its setting beautiful and treasured by local people, many of whom grew up there, worked there or still volunteer on the estate. Now however it is in great danger of collapse. The money has run out and there are almost no more assets to sell. Staff are being made redundantand the people in charge seem more concerned with selling off land for mass development in the village than saving the Estate. Local people are extremely concerned and have formed a campaign group Save Dartington to protest the sale of the fields in the village and to help the Trust out of its financial difficulties. Rob Hopkins, a leading environmentalist and founder of the Transition movement is the Chair of the group and a local resident. He speaks of the importance of Dartington Hall Estate in leading the fight against climate change, of continuing the vision of the Elmhirsts instead of paying its way by selling off green fields for the worst sort of dangerously polluting development. "Unless we can bring about fundamental changes in the governance and culture of this organisation the story of Dartington will finish. It will, very soon, be asset-stripped and picked apart by developers." We address this new approach by demanding Dartington Hall Trust stops the sale of fields in Dartington Village.