British professor backed by Natural Trust claims gardening is “racist”
01/28/2021 // Ramon Tomey // Views

A professor in the U.K. has claimed that gardening is a racist pastime rooted in class and privilege. University of Leicester post-colonial literature professor Corinne Fowler said in her new book that the British countryside is a "terrain of inequalities." Incidentally, Fowler has been responsible for a leftist push inside the National Trust – which is in charge of heritage conservation.

In her book titled Green Unpleasant Land, the professor argued that botanical knowledge "has had deep colonial resonances" as many British estates were partly financed by colonialism and slavery. She continued that the scientific classification of plants had "engaged in the same hierarchies of 'race'" that justified colonial occupation and slavery. Thus, Fowler posited that "gardens are matters of class and privilege."

The professor described rural Britain as "rarely peaceful," adding that it was a place hostile to outsiders such as Britons of Asian and Black descent. She noted in her book: "The elderliness of the maids in incongruous with the many itinerant female East Europeans who, before Brexit, picked the fruit and vegetables that grace our tables."

Nevertheless, Fowler admitted that she is guilty of benefitting from the British empire. She revealed that her own family had links to Caribbean sugar plantations and the slavery that occurred there. Fowler wrote: "I make no claim to neutrality: Our relatives either profited from [the] empire, or were impoverished by it."

Fowler has been part of a number of left-leaning and widely criticized projects under the Trust

Fowler has been involved in a number of left-leaning endeavors for the National Trust. She co-authored a review for the British heritage body that pointed out National Trust properties tied to historic slavery. The former home of erstwhile British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – Chartwell in Kent – was among the 93 properties included in the report.


Many criticized the report for its "woke" agenda, including prominent families who bequeathed their homes to the heritage body. Many Trust members also resigned over the report's release. They argued that the Trust's role is to preserve ancient houses and monuments, not pursue a political agenda.

Aside from the report, Fowler also took part in the Colonial Countryside project. She described the endeavor in the University of Leicester website as a "history and writing project which seeks to make historic houses' connections to the [British] East India Company and transatlantic slavery widely known." The project involved a team of historians working with 100 primary school children to study 11 properties and their connection to transatlantic slavery.

However, the Colonial Countryside project came under fire after it was revealed that children lectured National Trust staff and volunteers on the evils of colonialism and the British empire. The Trust nevertheless defended the project despite criticism by Members of Parliament. (Related: "Black linguistic justice": Professors demand end to standard "White" English as the norm.)

Many slammed Fowler's claims of "racist" gardening on social media

Former European Parliament Member for the Brexit Party Martin Daubney slammed Fowler's claim on social media. Daubney aired his frustrations in a Jan. 16 tweet: "Will this crap ever end? Or is this now our destiny: To forever bang our heads on tables at the sheer stupidity of humanity?"

London Assembly Member Peter Whittle shared the same sentiment. He condemned the professor's argument and said that agents who hate the U.K. have infiltrated the National Trust "like … other cultural institutions." He wondered: "What chance of pushback [do we have] from this 'Conservative' government?"

British Member of Parliament John Hayes leads the Common Sense Group of Conservative MPs, who have long been critical of the National Trust. He told The Daily Mail that the Trust's charitable purpose "is being stretched to its breaking point." Hayes continued: "The National Trust is losing large amounts of money at the moment and sacking staff – while spending time, money and energy on this nonsense."

Fowler's colleagues in the academe have also rebuked the Trust's politicking, among them University of Oxford moral and pastoral theology professor Rev. Nigel Biggar. He expressed his annoyance over the matter, saying: "The National Trust has shot itself in the foot. It has really got a lot of its members annoyed, [and] I am one of them. I am annoyed … because it seems to have swallowed a political position uncritically."

The priest and academician, who is involved in a project to re-examine the U.K.'s colonial past, has proposed a "morally mixed" history of the British empire. His insistence that the empire had some good and some bad elements has made him a target of racism accusations for not subscribing to the "evil empire" narrative.

Head over to to read more crazy ideas such as gardening being "racist" and more.

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