FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Blencathra is the new home for Mountain Heritage Trust

The Field Studies Council will be welcoming the Mountain Heritage Trust to its new base at Blencathra in the New Year. This will be a fitting base for the Mountain Heritage Trust to work alongside the Field Studies Council at the Blencathra Centre, and will provide a secure home for its historic collections.

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

The Mountain Heritage Trust was founded in 2000 to record and preserve Britain’s rich heritage in the fields of climbing, mountaineering and mountain culture. 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. More recently the Trust has formed partnerships with the National Trust, and Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. This year has seen the Trust working on a Heritage Lottery Fund project on mountaineer Joe Tasker.

“It’s great news that Mountain Heritage Trust will be joining the Field Studies Council in such an iconic location. The Blencathra Centre will provide crucial opportunities to connect with young people and impress upon them the importance of preserving our mountain environment and rich heritage in mountaineering. This partnership promises a bright future.” Rehan Siddiqui, British Mountaineering Council president

‘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’ Prof T P Burt, Field Studies Council President

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.

‘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.’ Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border