Say the name of Britain’s best loved children’s author in almost any corner of the world and it immediately conjures up enchanting images of mischievous animals scampering through the pages of those instantly recognisable little white books.

Beatrix Potter’s classic tales of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle have been firmly established nursery favourites for generations.

But what is less well known about the whimsical children’s author is that she was also a shrewd businesswoman, a canny marketing expert and a hardworking, often irritable, farmer who strategically bought up great swathes of land. She bequeathed thousands of acres of Britain’s picturesque Lake District to the nation, to protect it forever from the onslaught of modern development.

Beatrix was a passionate environmental campaigner, an eco-warrior and a trailblazing feminist many years before such terms

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