Walkers will make the trip to Blencathra from Keswick

Walkers will make the trip to Blencathra from Keswick

Campaigners hoping to buy a Lake District mountain will walk to the base of the fell to mark the closing dates for bids.

The Friends of Blencathra will set off from the Moot Hall in Keswick on Wednesday to walk to Threlkeld at the foot of the mountain that has been put on the market by its owner to help pay off an inheritance tax bill.

The group has achieved charitable status and has also put in an application to Eden District Council to have Blencathra registered as a community asset.

The Friends grew out of a social media campaign and have now also registered themselves as a company limited by guarantee in a bid to raise the expected price of £2.1m being asked by Lord Lonsdale, the present owner of the peak and its surrounding land.

The deadline for sealed bids is midday on Wednesday, and the Friends will set off from Keswick an hour earlier.

They had hoped Eden Council would hear its community asset application before the closing date, but councillors will not now consider it until 7 July. Campaigners said the sale should be suspended in the light of the application, but the earl’s agents said it did not believe that was necessary.

H&H Land and Property said: “The sellers have taken legal advice and are submitting representations to Eden District Council regarding the listing application.

“These representations include the sellers’ view that, notwithstanding any listing of Blencathra as an asset of community value, the sale can proceed as scheduled and without any need to notify the council, or to observe the six-month moratorium on sale, due to the exemption in the Localism Act 2011 because the sellers are personal representatives selling in order to pay a tax liability.”

Organisers of Wednesday’s walk are hoping for a mass turnout to show the depth of support for buying the mountain for the community.

Friends of Blencathra chair Debbie Cosgrove said: “This is a celebration of the new era for the mountain and we will have a very special guest walking with us. All are welcome.

“We are all very excited and hope to have a real day with something for all.”

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  3. Friends of Blencathra: our offer for mountain likely to be accepted
  4. Sale of Blencathra in the balance as agents contradict Friends group
  5. Blencathra walker injured in 50ft fall from Sharp Edge