23 NOVEMBER 1991, Page 30

Sir: In the course of a delightfully loopy article about

the National Trust, as a saviour of distressed gentlefolk and endan- gered country pursuits, Charles Clover (2 November) covers me with `Germolene pink'. I refer to the reference to CPRE and Open Spaces Society appointees on the Trust's ruling council as 'hand-wringing modern Fabians'.

I'll admit quite a few personality defi- ciencies, in Mr Clover's estimation, includ- ing a detestation of hunting and an ethical aversion to eating meat and fish, but these characteristics do not make me left-wing. Hitler loved animals and was vegetarian.

Where I agree with Mr Clover is that the National Trust needs reforming for its 1995 centenary, but with a new Act of Parlia- ment to abolish proxy voting at national meetings and establish a democratic branch structure at regional level. The centralised bureaucracy also needs cutting down to size; the first property on my list for Trust disposal, to be replaced by a Welsh moun- tain, is its Queen Anne's Gate headquar- ters.

As Mr Clover says, 'It is time to be tough, Lord Chorley.'

Rodney Legg

The Open Spaces Society, 25A Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire