In an open letter to the Conservative MP for Mole Valley, Sir Paul Beresford, David Marr described the reasons given by the National Trust for the termination of the shoot at Polesden Lacey as “unreasonable and unfounded”.

The National Trust’s motto is “preserving buildings, land and heritage for future generations”, Mr Marr wrote.

“We believe we are doing that, and at no cost to the National Trust — in fact, we pay them.

I appreciate that the National Trust needs concerts, restaurants, shops, donations and, ultimately, visitors to ensure the estate’s existence, but at what price?

When does a traditional, historic country estate stop being so? It appears to me that the National Trust has forgotten the reason for its existence.”