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Written on 28/06/17 by Paul Oldham

John Muir Trust to take care of Helvellyn

Following an extensive public consultation, members of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) have agreed to lease Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust for three years subject to final terms being agreed.

The common runs from Sticks Pass to Striding Edge, and includes the summits of Helvellyn and Catstye Cam, Birkhouse Moor, the Red Tarn cove and upper Glenridding valley.

Catstycam from Helvellyn
Catstycam, in the heart of Glenridding Common, taken from Helvellyn

The Trust has been in discussion about leasing this special landscape with the Park Authority since 2014 following a meeting where LDNPA shared its plans to review its property holdings with a wide range of organisations and stakeholders. The Trust has had staff based in the Lake District since 2003, running its John Muir Award scheme in partnerships initially with Cumbria Youth Alliance and for the past 6 years with the National Park.

In a statement on 21st June, Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of LDNPA said,

At the Lake District National Park's Authority meeting on 21st June 2017, members agreed to lease Glenridding Common to the charity the John Muir Trust. This follows a period of consultation earlier this year, which gave the community and key stakeholders an opportunity to understand more about the proposal.

During this period we continued our discussions with the two commoners who graze the land and representatives from the farming community made useful contributions towards the content of the draft lease. We will now formalise a three-year lease and we are aiming for this to be in place from August 2017.

The John Muir Trust and the National Park are jointly committed to caring for the common, including working with the local community, and we look forward to seeing how the Trust's management will enhance and improve the environmental quality of this land.

Andrew Bachell, Chief Executive for the John Muir Trust said:

The recent consultation has shown there is substantial support for the Trust to manage this special landscape. It has also allowed us to speak openly with those who raised questions and it's been important in starting to develop a relationship and dialogue with the local commoners, farmers, residents and business community.

We're looking forward to finalising the details of a lease and then having further conversations with local people and organisations to agree a management plan that will enhance and benefit the local area. We take the responsibility of managing this special landscape and respecting its cultural traditions seriously and feel delighted and privileged to have been given the opportunity to do so.

Here at WalkLakes we welcome this news: elsewhere in the country the Trust have shown themselves to be excellent land managers so this has to be good news for the fells.

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