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Time for tea.

It was Beatrix Potter who 70 years ago helped to pioneer farm tourism by creating the kind of characterful tea room that might be in one of her books.

When times were tough in the 1930s, the writer used Yew Tree Farm, near Coniston in the Lake District, as an example to her other tenant farms on how they could diversify into tourism to supplement their income from agriculture.

The 17th Century cruck-frame farmhouse, which was added to in the 18th Century and is now owned by the National Trust, is one of the most photographed in the Lake District.

Now, three years after foot-and-mouth disease ravaged Cumbria's traditional farming industry, the current tenants of Yew Tree Farm, Jon and Caroline Watson, are re-opening the parlour and tea room, which was furnished by Beatrix Potter in 1933.

Seventy years on, passing walkers and cyclists will again be able to enjoy the tea parlour exactly as the author had arranged it.

Caroline, a member of Coniston mountain rescue team, said: "She thought Yew Tree Farm was particularly suitable to offer tea."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 24, 2004
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