Friday, 27 November 2015

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Deadline approaches for bids to buy Lake District mountain

It is just 24 hours until the closing date for bids for a Lakeland peak.

Debbie Cosgrove photo
Debbie Cosgrove

Prospective buyers for Blencathra have until midday tomorrow to submit their offer for the mountain, which was put up for sale by Lord Lonsdale to help pay a £9 million inheritance tax bill.

A number of sealed bids have been made, with the £1.75m asking price expected to be beaten.

Since the announcement of its sale, campaigners have rallied together to try to ensure they can reclaim Blencathra for the community. They are expected to submit their bid before the deadline, and will be heading into the great outdoors to celebrate getting this far.

The Friends of Blencathra will be walking from Keswick to Threlkeld and organisers have promised that a “top figure” from the world of mountaineering will be joining them on the journey.

The walkers will go 4.5 miles from Keswick’s Moot Hall to the Horse and Farrier pub at Threlkeld, where a barbecue has been organised. It starts at 11am and is expected to last for around two hours.

They will follow a path along a disused railway line, which is described as being suitable for walkers of all abilities.

Organiser Richard Jennings said: “I’ve had confirmation that a leading figure from the world of mountaineering will be joining us on the walk.

“Walkers, climbers, fell runners, mountain bikers, farmers, education and outdoor centre users, paragliders – any user or admirer of the mountain is encouraged to take part.”

Debbie Cosgrove, chair of Friends of Blencathra, added: “The walk is timed to coincide with the bid deadline,” she explained, “and it will be a joyful confirmation of the immense amount of public support and goodwill for the campaign to bring Blencathra into public ownership.

“Literally thousands of people are supporting us, and we hope that many will be able to join us today.”

The campaign began on Facebook in May and has grown steadily since then.

Ms Cosgrove said it has received a steady stream of donations, including a “six-figure” amount from outdoor clothing company Berghaus. However, to avoid creating a bidding war, the group will not reveal the exact figure of what it has raised.

Fundraising will continue right up to the deadline for bids.

Walkers attending tomorrow’s trek have been asked to wear bright colours and attach ribbons to their clothes to symbolise people who can’t take part.

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