Bunty Ellison was born in 1923. Her family moved to Carlisle when she was eleven years old and her love of the countryside grew as she and her brother explored the area around Carlisle and the Solway coast on their bikes. After the war she and her husband decided to join in the push to increase food production in the UK, and they farmed at Scaleby, near Carlisle, for about ten years. After selling the farm Bunty and her family moved to Hexham and then returned to Cumbria in the nineteen seventies. They lived in Sparket, near Penrith, where Bunty became involved with the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Over the years, as well as changes in farming practices and in wildlife, she has noticed changes in public attitudes towards nature conservation, leading to a much-expanded role for organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts.
"Well I think the the one of the greatest things was the increase in sheep. I know foot-and-mouth has changed an awful lot to be honest, I mean I think people, if you like came to their senses. But to my way of thinking the subsidies that people got for sheep was the greatest disservice they’ve done to the land because it encouraged farmers to put far more sheep than they could really maintain on the land. So I would say that the increase of sheep has been the most detrimental to the landscape really."