The Field Studies Council welcomes the Mountain Heritage Trust to its new base at the Blencathra Centre in Threlkeld in the Lake District.
The Mountain Heritage Trust (the heritage arm of the British Mountaineering Council), was founded in 2000 to record and preserve Britain’s rich heritage in the fields of climbing, mountaineering and mountain culture. Its new home at FSC Blencathra will be a fitting base for the Mountain Heritage Trust to work alongside the Field Studies Council, and will provide a secure residence for its historic collections. The move also offers an excellent opportunity for the young people who visit the centre to engage with the collection and enrich their understanding of mountains through the interpretation of and delving into this fabulous archive.
The Lake District is widely regarded as the birthplace of British climbing, and this collaboration between the Field Studies Council and the Mountain Heritage Trust will facilitate the development of a hub for mountain learning and enjoyment. Second to none in terms of breadth, Britain has a proud legacy in the Alps, the Himalaya and the other great mountain ranges, as well as closer to home on British rock. The Mountain Heritage Trust preserves and encourages access to its own collections, provides curatorial support, sources artefacts for new exhibitions and sets up gallery exhibitions.
Among its early successes was the establishment of the National Mountaineering Exhibition at the Rheged Centre near Penrith, while more recently the Trust has formed partnerships with the National Trust and Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. The last year has seen the Trust working on a Heritage Lottery Fund project on mountaineer Joe Tasker.
The Blencathra Centre will be the main location for collections of mountaineering history items in the UK. The Trust has moved from small premises in Penrith to a storage facility at the Blencathra Field Studies Centre that will allow access to collections of people such as Sir Chris Bonington and a whole range of others. Further collections are also waiting in the wings to be donated.
The official opening of the new premises took place at Blencathra Field Studies Centre on Friday, 24th March 2017 with speeches from Mountaineer Doug Scott CBE, Professor Tim Burt President Field Studies Council, Tim Foster Head of Blencathra Centre, Nick Colton Deputy CEO British Mountaineering Council, and Jeff Ford Chair Mountain Heritage Trust. Cumbrian poet Phil Houghton read a specially commissioned poem for the opening.
Mountain Heritage Website: www.mountain-heritage.org
Blencathra Field Studies Centre: www.field-studies-council.org/centres/blencathra.aspx
British Mountaineering Council: www.thebmc.co.uk