Karen Merrifield

Karen Merrifield

Business consultant with a brief to develop new relationships across business sectors using the Great Place message.
Promote art and culture as a catalyst for change; a vehicle to attract and retain creative young people for the Great Place Lakes and Dales.

Where is your Great Place within the Lakes and Dales and why?
There are lots. Parcevall Hall is a special place. My husband introduced me to it and it is so beautiful. We’ve never been inside the hall but love the grounds, the peace and the views.

I grew up in West Yorkshire and my first experiences of the Lakes and Dales were family trips up to Bolton Abbey and Malham, and then school trips. I remember a field trip to Buckden and an art camp to Ullswater where we swam in the lake, climbed Helvellyn and took photographs for an art project. I still have the pictures.

Now I probably get up into the Dales most weekends walking with my husband, seeing friends and eating our way round the lovely cafes.

Who, what or where inspires you?
Again lots of things inspire me. My husband, my family, my work. I’m lucky. In terms of inspiration from the arts I suppose it’s music and words. My brother is a musician and composer and his music is a great source of inspiration, especially the honesty of it. I think this also applies to words. I’m delighted that Tony Walsh, someone with a strong northern voice, is going to be part of the project. I think he said something along the lines of poetry should move you to tears not bore you to tears.
In his love poem to the Lakes, Reflecting on the Lakes, I love the line:
‘And when water fell in love with sunshine, this is where they kissed.’

What’s your ideal day?
Pretty much anything with my husband. Getting up and out early and having beautiful places to ourselves.

Favourite cultural event or activity in the Lakes and Dales?
There are so many. I think it’s the character of the different places and the people you meet that makes all of them all so different.

Active or chilled (or both!)?
Both, I used to love sailing and windsurfing so would like to get back into that. But I also love films, music, dance, anything with a good story. I’m pretty easy to please really.

Hidden gem?
Not sure it’s hidden but Parcevall Hall.

Karen Merrifield
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