Lease of Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust

Article posted: 25-Jun-2017
Lease of Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust

The following is a press statement issued by the JMT on 21 June 2017

Press Release start

JMT to take care of Glenridding Common

Lake District National Park Authority agrees in principle to three-year management lease for Helvellyn and surrounding landscape

Following an extensive public consultation, members of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) have agreed to lease Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust subject to final terms being agreed.

In a statement on 21 June, Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of LDNPA said, “At the Lake District National Park’s Authority meeting on 21 June 2017, members agreed to lease Glenridding Common to the charity the John Muir Trust. This follows a period of consultation earlier this year, which gave the community and key stakeholders an opportunity to understand more about the proposal.

“During this period we continued our discussions with the two commoners who graze the land and representatives from the farming community made useful contributions towards the content of the draft lease. We will now formalise a three-year lease and we are aiming for this to be in place from August 2017.

“The John Muir Trust and the National Park are jointly committed to caring for the common, including working with the local community, and we look forward to seeing how the Trust’s management will enhance and improve the environmental quality of this land.”

Andrew Bachell, Chief Executive for the John Muir Trust said: “The recent consultation has shown there is overwhelming support for the Trust to manage this special landscape. It has also allowed us to speak openly with those who raised questions and it’s been important in starting to develop a relationship and dialogue with the local commoners, farmers, residents and business community.”

“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.”

The Trust has been in discussion about leasing this special landscape with the Park Authority since 2014 following a meeting where LDNPA shared its plans to review its property holdings with a wide range of organisations and stakeholders.

Press Release end.

Report by the LDNPA

The report by the LDNPA can be found here LDNPA Report 21 June 2017.

Please follow the link and open the pdf file entitled 21 June 2017 Proposal to lease Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust.

 

Decision expected on 21 June 2017

Posted 15 June 2017

The Lake District National Park, following its local consultation from 17 January 2017 to 17 April 2017, is expected to review the proposal to lease Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust at its Park Authority meeting on 21 June 2017. For more details please see Latest Update.

 

Formal Response from the LDNPA

Posted 11 April 2017

The LDNPA have sent the following information to the council:

We are writing to you in your capacity as Chair of Patterdale Parish Council firstly to thank you for organising the public meeting in Glenridding Village Hall on 17 February and secondly to provide the written assurances requested on the following issues raised:

  1. Will the John Muir Trust seek to reduce sheep numbers on the Common?

    No. At the public meeting The John Muir Trust confirmed that it has no plans to reduce the numbers of sheep grazing on Glenridding Common from the current level, even if it had the power to do so. It appreciates that the concentration of common land in the Lake District supports the livelihoods of upland farmers as well as a unique farming heritage that is a key special quality of the area. The Trust fully recognises that as a registered common, certain farmers have rights to graze the land and that these rights are legally protected.

    In addition, the common is currently subject to a 10 year Higher Level Stewardship scheme, to 2023, which determines grazing levels and other types of management activity. The John Muir Trust has already demonstrated its intention to work collaboratively by meeting and discussing the proposal with the two commoners and the Parish Council, farming community and other stakeholders as required. If any changes were proposed to the management of Glenridding Common in the future by any agency, the Trust recognises that these would need the support of the commoners and community before gaining the necessary consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs.

  2. Would the licence for the Ullswater Fell Pack be affected and if not can we put this in writing?

    The John Muir Trust confirms that it has no intention to halt or prevent the lawful activity of the Ullswater Foxhounds as defined in the annual licence issued by the Lake District National Park Authority and this will be reflected in the Lease.

  3. What do  LDNPA currently spend on the common annually? What sums will JMT be planning to spend?

    Although the following figures are part of an ongoing piece of work and therefore subject to change, The Lake District National Park Authority assesses its average yearly management costs at £9,000 per annum, primarily for rights of way maintenance, improvements and restoration. In addition, LDNPA staff and volunteer costs are estimated at approximately £16,000 per annum. The Authority will retain its overall responsibility for Rights of Way management, but the John Muir will support this work through direct cash contribution, including to the Fix the Fells Project and through the use of its extensive volunteer network for work on the common. The John Muir Trust will also employ staff with specific responsibility for the property.

    We can confirm therefore that as a minimum, the annual average level of spend contributed by the John Muir Trust will not fall below the current level and that it is likely to significantly exceed the amount currently budgeted by the National Park.

    In addition, the Lake District National Park Authority has and will retain its major and ongoing financial commitment to ensure the stability of the tips and mine workings at the old Greenside Mine. This is a significant investment in the area to ensure as far as possible the safety and environmental sustainability of this post-industrial legacy for the benefit of local residents and the wider community.

In addition to the three points above, there are many other statements of intent and responses to frequently asked questions on the LDNPA website at: LDNPA Information and feedback or the John Muir Trust website at: JMT Information and feedback


If we can provide any further information please do not hesitate to contact us and trust that the responses above are sufficient to reassure the Parish Council in response to points raised.
Regards
LDNPA & JMT
Martin Curry MRICS
Property Services Manager
Lake District National Park Authority

 

Deadline for feedback

Posted 6 April 2017

The LDNPA has asked the parish council to provide feedback by 17 April 2017. If you have any views on this topic and have not already contacted the parish council please send your comments to the council via the Contact Form or directly to the LDNPA as shown in the contact details provided in the note below dated 26 March 2017.

 

Consultation Reminder

Posted 26 March 2017

Both the JMT and the LDNPA wish to gain as much feedback as possible.

Anyone interested in providing questions or issues can use the feedback forms as follows:
LDNPA LDNPA Information and feedback or email property@lakedistrict.gov.uk

JMT JMT Information and feedback

 

Post Meeting Note

Posted 21 February 2017

The meeting of the 17 February 2017 was well attended and three presentations were given. One by the LDNPA on its partnership approach to managing the park and two by the JMT describing how they wish to pursue their charity’s aim in adding value to this very special landscape.

 

Questions were taken from the attendees and they focused on the following:

  1. Will there by any reduction in sheep grazing on the common?
    A: No reduction in graziers’ rights are envisaged.

  2. What is the JMT’s policy on hunting within the law by our local packs?
    A: LDNPA does not recognise ‘hunting within the law’ and only issues licences for trail hunting, which must be conducted within the law and in line with the terms and conditions of the licence. JMT confirmed that local packs will be able to continue their activities on this basis.

  3. Would the JMT work to preserve the industrial heritage on Glenridding Common?
    A: Yes, although Greenside itself is not part of the proposed lease JMT would be keen to work with local experts to preserve all industrial heritage areas on the common.

  4. What rent will the LDNPA charge the JMT for the proposed 3 year lease?
    A: Not decided yet.

  5. How much money will the JMT commit to projects within the common over the life of the lease?
    A: Not decided yet but there are general plans at this stage to protect the delicate montane flora of the higher crags, maintain footpaths and erosion in liaison with the “Fix the Fells” project. Also tree planting along some becks is envisaged as part of flood mitigation works and in full agreement with graziers and local community.

  6. What money will the JMT commit to the local community over this period?
    A: No direct payments are envisaged but the JMT will be interested in collaborating with the community on projects they see as a priority.

  7. If the JMT established a 3 year lease are there any longer term plans beyond the three year point and if the lease were to be renewed what would be the timescale?
    A: There is as yet no fixed term envisaged for a renewal but both the LDNPA and the JMT believe that if a 3 year lease is granted and all goes well during this period then a renewal to allow longer term projects to add value to the common would be beneficial. There would be full consultation with the community as part of this future negotiation.

Both the JMT and the LDNPA wish to gain as much feedback as possible.

Anyone interested in providing questions or issues can use the feedback forms as follows:
LDNPA LDNPA Information and feedback

JMT JMT Information and feedback

Or Patterdale Parish Council at Council Contact Form

 

Draft Management Plan and Background Information

Posted 10 February 2017

The LDNPA have provided a draft management plan with background information entitled glenridding_common.pdf. This can be found at Section 07 ldnpa_docs for download. There are three questions at the end of that document and if you wish please provide your views on these to the parish council who will then provide feedback to the authority by 28th April. The easiest way is via the online form at Contacts Form.

If you can attend the meeting in Glenridding Public Hall on Friday 17 February 2017 at 6:30pm you could of course provide your views then. The final deadline for the completion of the public consultation is 17th April 2017.

Three Questions

  1. There are a range of stakeholder interests across Glenridding Common – do you have any comments on how this proposal might impact on these interests and if so, what are they?

  2. The John Muir Trust has produced a draft plan of its Management Objectives which is entitled glenridding_common.pdf. This can be found at Section 07 ldnpa_docs for download. Do you believe that this plan will ensure that the site is managed appropriately to maintain the special qualities of the Park and the property taking into account existing statutory obligations, the needs of the public, graziers, local community and the environment? Please provide your comments on the JMT management plan.

  3. Do you have any general comments on the proposal that the Lake District National Park might lease Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust?

LINKS

You may also like to visit the authority's web site Glenridding Common Consultation and this link for the John Muir Trust.

 

Reminder of Public Meeting Friday 17 February 6:30pm

Posted 7 February 2017

Just a reminder that the public meeting to discuss the possible lease of Glenridding Common to the JMT John Muir Trust will take place as scheduled Friday 17 February 2017 at 6:30pm. Venue: Glenridding Public Hall. The JMT and the LDNPA will be in attendance and the meeting will be chaired by the parish council. All are welcome to attend.

 

Public Meeting Friday 17 February 6:30 pm

Posted 26 January 2017

Further to the presentation prior to the last council meeting there is to be an open meeting in Glenridding Public Hall on Friday 17th February at 6:30 pm. This is to facilitate the consultation summarised in the post presentation note below and will involve the LDNPA and the John Muir Trust. Everyone is welcome to attend. For details of the John Muir Trust and its aims please see John Muir Trust

 

Post Presentation Note

Posted 18 January 2017

Prior to the commencement of the council meeting held on 16th January 2017 the Chairman introduced Martin Curry from the Lake District National Park Authority and Officers from the John Muir Trust who spoke about a proposed Lease of Glenridding Common from the Park Authority to the Trust. There is to be a full consultation with locals, the public, farmers, the community flood group, users of the area, stakeholders and any other person interested prior to the consideration of granting a lease. The John Muir Trust has expertise in upland management in Scotland with their policy advocacy protecting and enhancing wild land. There will be a public meeting in Glenridding Public Hall as part of the consultation.

 

Presentation by Martin Curry of the LDNPA

Posted 9th January 2017

Prior to the commencement of the Patterdale Parish Council meeting to be held at 7:30 pm in the Glenridding Public Hall on Monday 16th January there will be a presentation by Martin Curry of the LDNPA. The presentation is about the potential lease of Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust. For details of the trust and its aims please see John Muir Trust.

The agenda for the council meeting can be found at Council agenda Monday 16th January

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