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John Ruskin


Little Lakes Leisure is a member of the Wyre Forest Landscape Partnership, and two of our partners are the Guild of St George and the Wyre Community Land Trust, both dedicated to preserving the legacy of John Ruskin.

John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. In all of his writing, he emphasised the connections between nature, art and society.

Ruskin founded his utopian society, the Guild of St George, in 1871. Ruskin wished to show that contemporary life could still be enjoyed in the countryside, to make Britain a better place to live in. This large area of land allows people to share, celebrate and enhance John Ruskin's Legacy in the Wyre Forest through seeing the unspoilt, inspirational beauty of nature.

Ruskin Land is an area of the Wyre Forest that is still cared for by the Guild of St George and managed by the Wyre Community Land Trust. The Ruskin in Wyre project aims to explore what happened at Ruskin Land and how John Ruskin’s ideas have been incorporated into the modern forest.

At Little Lakes, we feel we are a very modern manifestation of Ruskin’s ideals. Anyone can buy their very own plot, deep in unspoiled oak woodland, far from the reach of the modern world. Park members seek to put a personal mark on the beautiful landscape, while preserving the spirit of the place, and enjoying nature. 

WG Collingwood, Ruskin’s Private Secretary, wrote of Ruskin’s home, Brantwood, that in the garden “His private plot was in the heart of the wood approached by the winding path, a true woodland track, about as large as a Cottager’s kitchen garden”

Perhaps, when the new Garden Plots are finished, another of Ruskin’s ideals will have been realised at Little Lakes.