Glenridding Common FAQsPublished: 20th January 2017
Read answers to some of the questions being asked about our proposal to lease Glenridding Common
1. Why does the John Muir Trust want to lease Glenridding Common?
The Trust was founded to act in the public interest to protect wild places. We put people and their connection to these places at the heart of our work, encouraging participation and diversity, and recognising our role to support society to value and act to conserve places like Glenridding Common.
The Trust believes that it has the expertise to manage Glenridding Common in a way that will benefit both the land, and the people who live, work and visit the area, for generations to come. We have long sought to contribute to the management of wild land in England.
The Trust believes wild places are for everyone and to date, more than 10,000 people from diverse backgrounds have completed a John Muir Award, the Trust’s environmental engagement initiative, in the Lake District National Park, increasing awareness about wild places and the importance to conserve them. Glenridding Common would increasingly act as a place for outdoor learning with the opportunity for conservation volunteering. The Trust has built up successful relationships with Cumbria Youth Alliance (7 years) and the Lake District National Park (6 years).
The Lake District National Park invited a wide range of organisations, landowners and other stakeholders to a meeting in September 2014 where it shared plans to review its property holdings. Following that meeting, the Trust has been discussing with the National Park about the potential to manage the land at Glenridding Common, in line with its proven track record of robust and responsible stewardship managing properties including the mountains Ben Nevis, Schiehallion, and parts of Red and Black Cuillins on the Isle of Skye and in the far north of Scotland the coastal site at Sandwood Bay.
Although the land already benefits from a good level of protection as part of the National Park and a number of designations, the Trust wants to ensure that best practices are continued and extended. Figures released last year revealed that since 2009, national parks have seen their budgets cut by between 30 and 40 per cent.
We believe that we can facilitate further improvements and introduce additional resources and funding which will benefit both nature, local interests and wider stakeholders. For example, the Trust supports in principal the sensitive planting of trees along the becks which would both enhance biodiversity whilst helping to mitigate flooding. We would, however, seek the views of graziers and the local community for any changes.
2. What does this mean for those that already have a stake in the land at Glenridding?
The Trust recognises that any change in land management and potentially ownership will throw-up questions for those who already have a stake in it. We will discuss the current proposals and consult with the local commoners, communities and wider communities of interest to give them the opportunity to input their ideas and to make sure that we understand their concerns. We will look to employ locally and work with people experienced and respected in the local area.
Glenridding is common land, which is a long established system of land management. As a result there are many people and groups who are stakeholders in this area. Our intention is to be open and transparent. The Trust will be clear that it wants to see environmental improvements on the land, whilst ensuring people’s livelihoods are protected.
The Trust takes a long-term approach to land management and will seek the opinions of those in the community on the future use and direction of the land.
3. What benefits does the Trust believe it can bring to the local community?
Over time, we aim to show that we can manage Glenridding Common in a way which brings benefits to local people as well as to the natural environment. We'd be hands on and active and as a national charity with a UK-wide remit we believe we can maintain the wider profile of Glenridding, while bringing in resources to continue to support development on the land and continuing to attract visitors to Helvellyn, Glenridding and the wider area. The Trust will commit to manage the land to high standards.
The Trust is a participative organisation and will seek and support people to get actively involved in caring for Glenridding Common, taking time to share our experience and resources – including getting involved in existing environmental initiatives in the area. We believe in engaging with the local community and offering the chance for people to input their ideas and views both through formal consultation and regular meetings and interactions.
The Trust has a local members group that we would expect to organise and participate in a number of volunteering activities giving people an additional way to participate and contribute directly to the upkeep of Glenridding Common.