Trust signs Glenridding Common lease

Wild land charity officially takes over management of Helvellyn

Helen peter mike mark signing cropped detail

The John Muir Trust and the Lake District National Park Authority have completed the formalities and signed an agreement to transfer the management of Glenridding Common – which includes England’s third highest mountain, Helvellyn – initially on a three-year lease.

This follows an extensive public consultation earlier this year, which gave the local community and others whose livelihoods are connected with the land the opportunity to understand what the handover will mean in practice.

Andrew Bachell Chief Executive for the John Muir Trust said: “The 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. The Lake District National Park has a long-standing relationship with the Trust, having supported its delivery of more than 18,000 John Muir Awards in Cumbria, connecting thousands of young people with wild spaces across the National Park. 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.”

As the lease was signed, the John Muir Trust announced that it has secured funding to underpin its management for the period of the lease, thanks to a £286,000 grant from the Patsy Wood Trust. The John Muir Trust will use the funding to employ staff and for conservation management around Helvellyn, to enable wildlife to thrive and to continue to ensure high quality access within the traditionally managed landscape of the Lakes.

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. He has already begun working with the local community to develop a land management plan for the area which can be viewed here.

Photograph by Kevin Lelland shows: (far left and far right) Helen Lancaster and Mark Hoggar from the Lake District National Park Authority with the Trust's Peter Pearson and Mike Daniels in front of a snowy Helvellyn.