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articles > 2019

The Wainwright Society is delighted to announce that the Blencathra Centre will be the main beneficiary of funds raised by the Society in 2019. The money raised will be used to establish an outdoor classroom dedicated to Alfred Wainwright. This will be used for field sketching and other activities when it is raining or too windy and still allow viewing of 28 of Wainwright’s fells from its elevated position.

The Blencathra Centre is part of the Field Studies Council, an environmental education charity providing outdoor learning opportunities for all ages. The Blencathra Centre welcomes over 10,000 visitors each year from schools, colleges, universities and other organisations. Situated in a magnificent setting at the foot of Blencathra, with unrivalled views of the Lake District and with access to excellent field sites, the Centre is able to provide inspiring courses on all aspects of the natural world.

Visitors to the Centre come from all over the UK, and for many it is their first trip to the Lake District World Heritage Site. During their courses, students encounter the Centre’s approach to ‘green tourism’. It is a unique experience, enriched through an awareness of the special relationship between people and the environment.

In 2017 the Centre became the new home of the Mountain Heritage Trust which, this year, linked closely to the Man and Mountain exhibition at Keswick Museum.

With sufficient funds raised it is also planned to provide a viewing platform with an interpretation board on site looking south and to work with the publications unit to provide a laminated fold out chart based on field sketching ‘Wainwright’ style.

Tim Foster, Head of Group, North Region, said: ‘Much of our direct work with customers is involved in raising awareness amongst our learners about environmental issues through first-hand experience. This offers an excellent opportunity to engage with the young people who visit the Centre and enrich their understanding of mountains and Wainwright.’

Money will be raised from donations by Society members taking part in the annual charity ‘Challenge’ together with sales of the 2020 Society calendar.

Derek Cockell

Photograph: The Blencathra Centre, situated at the foot of Blencathra © Terry Abraham

Long Stile from High Street © Lake District National Park Authority