Mountain Heritage Trust move to Blencathra Field Studies Centre

The Mountain Heritage Trust Trustees, Patrons and Staff are delighted to announce that we will be moving to a new base at the Blencathra Centre in early 2017.

This new home will be a fitting base to work alongside the Field Studies Council at the Blencathra Centre on one of Britain’s iconic mountains. This will offer an excellent opportunity to engage with the young people who visit the centre and help them to enrich their understanding of mountains through the interpretation and exploration of our fabulous heritage collections. Many consider the Lake District to be the birthplace of British climbing, and this collaboration will facilitate the development of a hub for mountain learning and enjoyment.

"I am delighted with the Mountain Heritage Trust’s move to the Blencathra Field Studies Centre," said Patron of the Mountain Heritage Trust Sir Chris Bonington, "it is the perfect home for the Mountain Heritage Trust, in a wonderful mountain environment."

The Trust’s new home at the Blencathra Centre will include a more accessible office space to welcome visitors and researchers, along with a custom-converted building to house the Trust’s historic collections in a safe and secure environment. This project is being funded by a legacy received via the British Mountaineering Council and a heritage grant from The Mercers’ Company.

The Blencathra Centre has a national reputation for fieldwork and was established by the Field Studies Council in 1993. The centre’s main building is a former sanatorium which was converted into a residential field centre and occupies an inspiring site 300m above sea level on the south facing slope of Blencathra. The remainder of the site utilises the original farm and Sanatorium buildings for teaching, accommodation and ancillary use. These unique buildings provide field courses for schools and universities at all levels as well as a programme of courses for individuals and families. Every year the Centre hosts more than 8000 education visitors from over 300 schools and universities along with learned societies such as the Royal Geographical Society.   Our visitors come from all over the UK, and for many it is their first trip to the Lake District.

Commenting on the move, Field Studies Council President Professor T. P. Burt, said that "During their courses, students come into contact with our approach to ‘green tourism’. It is a unique experience, enriched through an awareness of the special relationship between people and the environment. This can only be enhanced through our new relationship with the Mountain Heritage Trust."

Local MP for Penrith and The Border, Rory Stewart also welcomed the move. "I think that the two initiatives sit very well together, and this seems to be an excellent opportunity to combine them in an innovative way, celebrating the inspirational mountain landscapes that both have at the core of their individual activities. In addition, I can foresee the great potential for collaborative work educationally, and I cannot think of a better location in which to preserve the Mountain Heritage Trust’s impressive archive."

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