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New base for Mountain Heritage Trust (MHT)

Image for article New base for Mountain Heritage Trust (MHT)

Created to preserve Britain’s climbing and mountaineering heritage, the Mountain Heritage Trust is moving to a new base at the Blencathra Centre, near Keswick.

Its new home will be a fitting base to work alongside the Field Studies Council at the Centre, below one of Britain’s iconic mountains. It offers an excellent opportunity to engage with the young people who visit the centre and help them to enrich their understanding of mountains. Many consider the Lake District to be the birthplace of British climbing, and this collaboration will develop a new hub for mountain learning and enjoyment.

The new base includes a more accessible office space, along with a custom-converted building to house the Trust’s historic collections in a safe and secure environment. This project is being funded by a legacy received via the British Mountaineering Council, and a heritage grant from The Mercers’ Company.

Sir Chris Bonington, patron of the Mountain Heritage Trust, says: "I am delighted with the Mountain Heritage Trust’s move to the Blencathra Field Studies Centre. It is the perfect home for the Mountain Heritage Trust, in a wonderful mountain environment."

Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, says: "I think that the two initiatives sit very well together, and this seems to be an excellent opportunity to combine them in an innovative way, celebrating the inspirational mountain landscapes that both have at the core of their individual activities. In addition, I can foresee the great potential for collaborative work educationally, and I cannot think of a better location in which to preserve the Mountain Heritage Trust's impressive archive."

The Mountain Heritage Trust was founded in 2000 to record and preserve Britain’s rich heritage in the fields of climbing, mountaineering and mountain culture. Britain has a proud legacy in the Alps, the Himalaya and other great mountain ranges, as well as closer to home on British rock. The Mountain Heritage Trust preserves and encourages access to its own collections, provides curatorial support, sources artefacts for new exhibitions and sets up gallery exhibitions.

The Blencathra Centre itself has a national reputation for fieldwork and was established by the Field Studies Council in 1993. The centre’s main building is a former sanatorium which was converted into a residential field centre and occupies an inspiring site on the lower slopes of Blencathra. The unique buildings provide field courses for schools and universities at all levels, as well as a programme of courses for individuals and families. Every year the Centre hosts more than 8,000 education visitors from over 300 schools and universities along with learned societies such as the Royal Geographical Society.

20 March 2017 by George Fisher

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