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Friday, 03 July 2015

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Blencathra hopes are still high

Talks over the future of Blencathra have paused.

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MOUNTAIN BID: Campaign leader Debbie Cosgrove with a cloudy Blencathra in the background

The community group Friends of Blencathra has been in talks with the Lonsdale Estate since the Lake District mountain was put up for sale earlier this year by the Earl of Lonsdale, Hugh Lowther.

An initial asking price of £1.75 million was set.

Debbie Cosgrove, friends chairman, said the group remained positive about its negotiations, but talks had been stopped until September 2 because their contact at the estate was on holiday.

Ms Cosgrove, of Allerby, near Maryport, said: “They said they’d like to continue discussions with us on their return.

“We’re taking that as a positive. That’s all we can do.”

The group is now in direct discussions with the estate rather than agent H&H Land and Property.

The group understands that an earlier private bidder, whose offer price was initially accepted, is no longer in the running to buy the mountain.

Despite the current hiatus, the group is continuing its activities and on Sunday held its latest meeting, attended by about 100 people.

The meeting at Threlkeld was essentially a social event where people could chat, find out more about getting involved with the project, share photos and hear from the Fix The Fells organisation about the work that members may assist with to improve the mountain.

A cake modelled on the mountain was raffled to raise funds and Ms Cosgrove, who won it, shared it out among everyone there.

Eden District Council recently voted to recommend that the peak be granted community asset status.

Funds from the sale of the 2,676-acre plot, also known as Saddleback, will go towards paying off a reported £9 million inheritance tax bill owed by Lord Lonsdale.

Have your say

I think that the government should buy the mountain to pay the £9 million inheritance tax bill.

Posted by James Graham on 28 August 2014 at 22:57

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