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Press Release

30th January 2016

Charitable support for the Friends of Blencathra (Saddleback) mountain, Lake District National Park 

Friends of Blencathra Limited is a charity registered with the Charity Commission of England & Wales under number 1157636 (“the charity”). It is a charitable , non-profit, company limited by guarantee.

The tale involving the charity is an extraordinary one. The Blencathra Mountain c.2,000 acres was brought to the market on 5 May 2014 with a tight time scale for sealed bids and a guide price of £1.75m.. The vendor’s intention (the Estate of the late Earl of Lonsdale (the”Vendor”)) was to pay off an inheritance tax debt using the sale proceeds.

Once aware of the proposed sale, and with the idea of the Big Society planted in their minds, a group of local people decided to try to secure ownership of the mountain for the public benefit. Their fear was that the mountain might otherwise be bought by unsympathetic private interests. The mountain sits within and is a significant part of the Lake District National Park and is within an area of outstanding natural beauty. It was feted by the late Alfred Wainwright. It is an important part of our national heritage.



Drop In Session!

Saturday 30th Jan 2016
We are holding a drop in session at Threlkeld Village Hall on Saturday 30th January 2015 between 1pm and 3pm – all Friends are welcome!

Update from Legal Adviser!

23rd November 2015
The lawyer acting for the Friends of Blencathra, Janet Turner QC stated: “ After a period of some uncertainty the vendors of the Saddleback mountain have recently confirmed to the charity that they remain keen to sell the mountain and, in particular, would like to sell to the charity if suitable terms can be agreed. Discussions are now in play to that end. Transactions involving the sale and purchase of extraordinary landholdings, such as this one, are always complex and time consuming. Here the matter is more complicated still as a result of the number of stakeholders involved in the decision making process.”

We have decided to produce a calendar containing photos taken and voted for by our members. By contributing to the Calendar on our facebook page, with posting entries and voting for your favourite picture each month, you are helping to raise money for the charity.

29th May 2015
Although we cannot give any details at this time, we have today received a timetable for some very important and crucial meetings that will take place over the coming weeks.

8th April 2015
We have been advised that the trustees “wish to proceed with our offer” and that “in principle, they would like to proceed to the next stage”.

14th March 2015
Good morning all. I have been waiting for further detail to be able to pass on to you but as it hasn’t come through in writing, I will just have to give you headline stuff.

15th February 2015
This week has been incredibly busy behind the scenes, providing paperwork and updates to the QC for the proposals to be taken forward, and getting a variety of other meetings and contacts arranged and updated appropriately.

7th February 2015
Things are moving apace now, and whilst I am not in a position to give the details of where we are, I can confirm that we have had another week with major steps taken, and lots of work is going on behind the scenes.


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