20 May 2013

Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter - and the world!

The last few days have seen lots of really exciting goings on around are area of the Lakes - all inspired by Beatrix and what she did 100+ years ago.  There is always lots of interest in Beatrix and her life in the Lakes, particularly around Hill Top, the very first place she bought and the place that remained most special to her.  The 'Miss Potter' film in 2006 generated a massive increase in visitors to Hill Top and other places - and in a few days time, there will be another major new series starting...  However, I jump ahead!

Miss Potter - still very popular (and you can buy the DVD from our Hill Top Shop and support us that way!)
We were very busy on Wednesday hosting a several Japanese press visits including a TV crew shooting for a new show on the Lakes (if you are in Japan in July, keep your eyes open for 'Kosuichihou' on the screen!)  This involved filming inside Hill Top as well as in the garden, the village and other places associated with Beatrix.  We also had a visit from a team from Sony in Japan, also accompanied by a number of press who were also visiting in preparation for the new Peter Rabbit series - it's easy to forget just how 'big' Peter and Beatrix are in Japan and in many other countries around the world.

Cath welcoming the Japanese press to Hill Top - konichiwa!
Later in the week, we welcomed some of the team from Silvergate media and Penguin books who have been working on a new Peter Rabbit animation series for children.  We've been helping them for several years to develop this (it is very much based on the Lakes and the area that Beatrix loved so much) and they were here to discuss how we move it forward.  Indeed, keep your eyes open on our Wray Castle site from some exciting news in the next couple of weeks... http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wray-castle/

They were also here for Saturday, which saw the launch of the new series by the BBC and CBeebies at Zeffirellis cinema in Ambleside.  As one of the key partners with this, several of us were lucky enough to be invited to the premiere - and we then took a number of those present on a boat trip to Wray Castle, the place where, in 1882, Beatrix and her family stayed and where she started her lifelong love of the Lakes.  As well as giving those folks a short taste of what the Castle has to offer, we were also able to persuade everyone else on the boat to come and have a look round as well!
Coming in to the Jetty at Wray Castle - definitely the way to arrive!
It was really exciting to see the new animation series - and keep your eyes open in the next few weeks to see when it launches on CBeebies - it is aimed at about the 3 to 6 year old, but is just as good for the older amongst us!  You'll see many characters that you'll know already - Peter, Benjamin, Nutkin and Mr Tod - as well as a new character called Lily, who is set on Beatrix herself.  We're really hoping that it will bring Peter to a new audience - and from this, to Beatrix, to the classic tales that she wrote, and then to the Lakes and the work we do looking after these special places.  And, as well as all these extra special events and goings on - we've also been very busy looking after all our visitors to give them a great time with us - and looking after the very places that have inspired so much.

A very sneak preview - welcome to Peter, Benjamin - and Lily, coming soon to a screen near you!
 Finally, this week ended with a big local event, the Brathay marathon, where runners complete a circuit of Windermere, England's largest lakes!  The course runs right past the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead - and this year, a group of Brownies were visiting and they all had loads of fun cheering and 'high fiving' the many runners as they went past!
4 miles down - 22 to go, but lots of cheering here!
 As you can see - lots has been going on and it's great for us to be able to tell you a bit more about what goes on beyond the day to day operation of our houses - and keep your eyes open on our websites and with the BBC for the exciting new things that will be coming soon...