But there are fresh fears that Britain may lose the Poohsticks Bridge to an overseas buyer, as the aristocrat says that owing to a “family crisis” he has been left with no choice but to resell it before he has even had the chance to return it to the place that inspired Milne’s 100 Acre Wood.
“I’m going to be forced for reasons I don’t really want to go into – a family crisis – to resell it,” Lord De La Warr told The Telegraph.
“And it upsets me because I’m quite certain it’ll be bought by [bidders in] America or Japan or Bulgaria, or the people who bid for it before,” he added. “It is generally a piece of cultural heritage and an awful lot of people know that. It saddens me a lot that it may have to go overseas.”
Lord De La Warr had considered setting up a crowdfunder to raise money so that he would not be forced to sell the landmark, but has since changed his mind over fears of how the public would perceive an aristocrat landowner asking for funding.
“If I mention crowdfunding it doesn’t look very good, does it? Everybody thinks that anyone with a fair amount of land is immensely rich. Well, unfortunately, that’s not entirely the case. Maybe rich in terms of land, but it doesn’t mean you’ve got any cash,” he said.
“You can see another newspaper picking it up and saying ‘well we know he’s a rich landed aristocrat, what’s he doing trying to get public funds?’ People will say ‘he’s just trying to have his cake and eat it, just trying to recover the costs of the bridge’.”
He added: “Unless somebody can persuade me that public funding is the right route then it unfortunately has to be sold. It distresses me a lot.”
Don’t make me do it, really, don’t make me do it!