Shropshire Star

Shropshire lake’s new name to be revealed after row

A ceremony to rename a Shropshire events venue – following a trademark row – is taking place next week.

Dearnford Lake

Earlier this year Rob Bebbington, manager of Dearnford Lake, near Whitchurch, confirmed he was renaming and rebranding the business following the row.

The ceremony to officially rename the venue will be taking place on June 14, where TV vet – and the event's guest of honour– Steve Leonard will unveil the new name and logo.

Steve is a veterinary surgeon and TV presenter, featuring in many BBC wildlife productions including 'Vets in Practice', 'Vets in the Wild', and currently 'Trust Me, I’m a Vet'.

His home veterinary practice – Leonard Brothers Veterinary Centre – is in Whitchurch, but the partners also have another centre in Nantwich.

In April Mr Bebbington said he had not come to an agreement with Shropshire councillor Thomas Biggins who had previously asked the venue to stop using its name after trademarking the title Dearnford.

Councillor Biggins said he has trademarked the name Dearnford to protect his historic 17th century home, which sits near the lake.

However, Councillor Biggins said he was prepared to let Dearnford Lake keep its name.

But at the time Mr Bebbington said: "There is no agreement, and never has been any agreement reached between him and myself on the issue of the Dearnford trademark. Councillor Biggins has sent me an undertaking to sign from his solicitors – but on examination of his demands, I cannot enter into an agreement where our business name and how we use it are completely governed by our neighbour Councillor Biggins.

"If we entered this agreement, we would be beholden to Councillor Biggins at every point as to how we use the name Dearnford Lake.

"So I have had no option but to give in to Councillor Biggins' demands and will be renaming and rebranding the business to meet his strict timescale of June 16 when he has instructed us to cease using the term Dearnford. This at least will allow us unrestricted use of our new name and how we use it in connection with our business.

"It has been a very difficult few months – but the support of customers and local people has been overwhelming. I thank everybody for their messages of support and apologise for the confusion this outrageous situation has caused."

Councillor Biggins previously defended the move and said the "unauthorised" use of the name Dearnford had created confusion over ownership, businesses and location.

The renaming ceremony will start at 1pm at Tilstock Road, Whitchurch, on June 14.