Nan (Annie Evelyn Shepherd) was born at Fell Edge Farm, Crossthwaite in 1922. At 6 she moved with her family to Tarn Side, where her parents lived and worked for the rest of their lives. Both her mother and father came from farming families, but Nan trained as a teacher at Ripon Training College and moved to Manchester where she worked as a teacher, before returning to Cumbria in 1987 on her retirement to live in sight of both her birthplace and the farm where she grew up.
Nan remembered her fathers resistance to the introduction of artificial fertilizers based on his concerns for the nature and wildlife around him. She also recalled her mothers love of wildflowers and the yellowhammers feasting on hayseed in the barn.
“…when my father was cutting the grass if he managed to see … a nest, skylarks nest he would avoid it, he would get his horses to miss that bit so that it wouldn’t disturb the nest.”