Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who was one of the founders of the National Trust, launched an appeal after the Brandlehow estate on the west shore of Derwent Water in Keswick, which consisted of 108 acres of pasture and woodland at the foot of Catbells, came up for sale in 1902. Fortunately, enough money was raised and this became the National Trust’s first acquisition.
HRH Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, performed the opening ceremony at Brandlehow Wood on 6 October 1902. Princess Louise and the three National Trust founders each planted an oak tree after the ceremony. Most of Borrowdale was saved from development by the National Trust and Canon Rawnsley. Since 1907 the National Trust has the unique power to declare it’s land nontransferable, which means the land cannot be mortgaged or sold thereby keeping it safe for the nation.