Lady Cowdray leads ‘switch-off’champion bid for Midhurst and Easebourne

Lady Cowdray is leading her husband’s estate in its bid to be the switch-off champion of the United Kingdom.

The initiative is in support of the conservation charity WWF’s annual Earth Hour event - and could help create a fruit and nut forest wildlife paradise on Cowdray land.

On March 31 from 8.30pm, everyone in the UK is asked to switch off the lights for an hour. If the Cowdray bid is successful, it will lead the national switch-off in Midhurst and Easebourne, followed by such landmarks as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, and by people around the world.

The winner will also receive a grant of £1,000 from Earth Hour sponsor MORE THAN.

Lady Cowdray, who, with Lord Cowdray and their eldest daughter, Eliza, has established her ‘green’ credentials, said this week that, in addition to holding an Earth Hour event at Cowdray Hall in Easebourne, which she hoped would ‘bring people together’, the money would substantially be used in the creation of the fruit and nut forest.

Fruit and nut trees which will grow in this country are due to be planted as part of a permaculture project close to the Cowdray model farm at Easebourne. The harvest from the trees will be sold in the nearby Cowdray farm shop.

“The forest is something which Eliza is already instigating,” Lady Cowdray said. “She has called it the Incredible Edible Fruit and Nut Forest! It is going to really move ahead in the next few months and in a couple of weeks’ time there is to be a planting session.

“Twenty to 40 people will be planting trees, mostly friends of Eliza’s, a lot of whom are enthusiasts for changing the planet.”

The forest would go ahead with or without a winning Earth Hour bid, she added: “But a grant would enable it to be made bigger.”

Barbara Boxhall, who works with Lady Cowdray on the Cowdray Hall programme, submitted the bid for the estate. She said the hall event at 8.30pm on March 31 was open to all.