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George Fisher UK - John Muir Trust - Helvellyn

Written by George Fisher

Image for article John Muir Trust now manages Helvellyn

The property runs from Sticks Pass to Striding Edge and includes the summits of Helvellyn and Catstycam, Birkhouse Moor, Red Tarn cove, the upper Glenridding valley plus Raise, which is home to the Lake District Ski Club. The National Park has owned and managed the land since 1977, a small part of it jointly with the National Trust.

The JMT already owns much of Ben Nevis, as well as part of the Cuillin of Skye and other landscapes in Scotland.

The Lake District National Park Authority said the measures will save it money and manpower. Other parties expressed an interest in managing the land, but the decision was made to forge an agreement with the John Muir Trust. The trust said it intends to maintain and encourage public access to the land and also use it for volunteering activities.

It may also consider limited ‘rewilding’ by the introduction of woodland.

Andrew Bachell, Chief Executive for the John Muir Trust said: “The public consultation revealed overwhelming support for the Trust to manage this special landscape. It also allowed us to begin an open and constructive dialogue with people whose livelihoods are connected with this landscape

“We’ve made it clear that we’re here to work with the local community, bringing to bear the expertise we’ve accumulated over thirty years of managing iconic upland areas in Scotland. We take seriously the responsibility of managing this special landscape and respecting its cultural traditions.”

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive for the Lake District National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted to welcome the John Muir Trust to Glenridding Common. We are confident that their management plan and aspirations will enhance and improve the quality of the land, creating long-term benefits for everyone who farms and enjoys the common.”

Respected local man Pete Barron, who for more than more than 20 years worked in the area as a ranger with the Lake District National Park, is the John Muir Trust’s land manager on the ground and will now assume responsibility for the day-to- day running of Glenridding Common.