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Dragons’ Den star told to pull down antivax sanctuary built on protected woodland

Former Dragons’ Den star Rachel Elnaugh has been told to pull down a sanctuary for antivaxers built on a site of protected ancient woodland in the Peak District.

Elnaugh raised almost £1 million from investors to buy the 70-acre plot in Cressbrook Dale, Derbyshire.

She said that it was an “incredible vagina of land”, and that she intended for it to be used for “shamanic wisdom” and as a “safe haven away from the threat that humanity [is] facing”.

However, the Peak District National Park authority has issued an enforcement notice ordering her and her partners to reverse the development already completed without planning permission, which includes a teepee and car park.

Elnaugh, 58, appeared in two series of Dragons’ Den but left after her gift company Red Letter Days went into administration in 2005. It was later sold to Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones.

She has since re-emerged as a Covid-19 conspiracy theorist and says that the pandemic was a “great bio-weapon” unleashed by a “dark cabal” in Switzerland. She has also said that Professor Sir Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, would hang for his role in the vaccine programme.

The land, which Elnaugh and a group called Phoenix Rose bought, had been owned by the Stanton Hall estate. Designated as a “natural zone”, the highest category of conservation protection, it contains ash and wych elm woodland and forms part of the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve.

Elnaugh, who lives in Bakewell, said she decided to buy the land after realising she had “manifested a temple exactly north-south oriented to the Earth’s magnetic field”.

She has also said that magic mushrooms grow abundantly in the dale and that “plant-medicine” could help open people’s “third eye, bringing the ability to see through the illusion”.

After residents banded together to oppose Elnaugh’s original plans for the site, which were spelled out in an investment prospectus, they began receiving anonymous emails. One read: “Rachel is saving your space. If the new world order get hold of it you haven’t got a chance of even having an opinion.”

The enforcement notice said the development “failed to respect or enhance the character of their surroundings and have a significant harmful effect on the character and appearance of the landscape”.

John Butler, chairman of the community group that has been opposing Elnaugh’s plans, said: “This is a very welcome development in our campaign. We’ve been working hard to raise awareness and ensure that this area of ancient woodland and delicately balanced environment — as noted in the enforcement notice, an important natural zone — is protected and remains accessible to everyone. We hope that this enforcement notice will ensure that the land is restored and that further development does not take place.”

Elnaugh is standing for election next month in Bakewell for the Love Party, which she co-founded and which describes the structures of government as “monsters that demand we serve them”.

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Dragons’ Den star told to pull down antivax sanctuary built on protected woodland

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