Inspired and inspiring Sally Beamish, a landscape historian, was named as the winner of the Cumbria Life Lifetime Achievement award for 2016.
Cumbria has many and varied treasures, none more impressive than those with connections to the Arts and Crafts movement. Thousands of visitors flock to the Lake District every year, many visiting beautiful houses and gardens – one of the most important is Brantwood, home of polymath John Ruskin whose views and visions continue to have a significant impact on art and design to this day, constantly challenging us to reconsider and re-examine our relationship with the natural world.
Over the past 30 years, a team of gardeners and volunteers led by Sally have meticulously and lovingly restored the gardens at Brantwood. With consummate respect for tradition and echoing Ruskin’s own principles on connection with our natural surroundings, a comprehensive restoration of derelict features has been undertaken, rescuing the historic gardens from oblivion, and establishing new gardens for study and learning alongside.
It has been nothing short of a labour of love with Sally paying scant regard to the small matter of normal and formal working hours – she has also worked tirelessly supporting other horticultural organisations such as Cumbria Gardens Trust and The Biodynamic Association.
Sally has met every challenge, both personal and professional, with good humour, courage, innovation and dedication. She leaves a remarkable and tangible professional legacy at Brantwood, and her influence on those she taught and worked with is immeasurable.