A proposal from the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) for the John Muir Trust to lease Glenridding Common has been rejected by commoners because of concerns about re-wilding.
Fears have been growing about the lease because the John Muir Trust has charitable objectives which include the protection and enhancement of wild land, which could come into conflict with commoning interests.
The Foundation for Common Land (FCL) has formally rejected the plans in a letter to the LDNPA as it did not feel sufficient safeguards for commoning were provided by the authority.
Julia Aglionby, executive director of the FCL, said: “This is the most iconic of sites imaginable, covering Striding Edge and Helvellyn. The LDNPA has an obligation to fulfil its statutory duties and also protect commoning as an outstanding universal value of the Lake District.
“The park authority proposes to lease Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust which has enhancing wild land and natural processes as its objects, with no mention of commoning or cultural heritage.
“We have therefore withdrawn our support until stronger covenants are included in the lease to protect common land which depends on hill farmers as commoners.”