Friday 23 June 2017

John Muir Trust takes on Helvellyn


After much discussion and deliberation the John Muir Trust has taken on the management of the Glenridding Common estate in the Lake District. This runs from Sticks Pass in the north to Striding Edge in the south and includes the summit and east side of Helvellyn plus Catstycam, Red Tarn, Birkhouse Moor, and Glenridding Beck.


The opportunity for the JMT to do this first arose in 2014 when the Lake District National Park (LDNP) said it wished to review the areas it owned. Last August a group of JMT Trustees (of which I am one) and Staff walked the estate to gain a view of the area and think about what the JMT could offer in terms of management. We decided this was something the JMT should do.

JMT Trustees and Staff climbing up to Sticks Pass

The LDNP undertook a public consultation before deciding to lease the estate to the JMT for three years. Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the LDNP, said "we look forward to seeing how the Trust’s management will enhance and improve the environmental quality of this land". Andrew Bachell, Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust, said: “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.” You can read the full statement from the JMT here.

I think this is an exciting move by the JMT - one I have supported strongly in Trustee meetings - and I'm looking forward to the next three years with great interest and hope. This is the JMT's first land management venture outside of Scotland and I think it could be really significant.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting news. I wonder what the JMT's input will be and how it will be received. I'm half way through reading George Monbiot's excellent book Feral, and saw that he recently received criticism for an article he wrote in the Guardian about proposals for the LDNP to become a UNESCO site. I have to be honest, the UK's upland areas in ecological terms have seen better times, to say the least. The fact that the Lake District can't sustain a single wild eagle is a damming indictment of our 'wild' places.