The deadline to submit bids to purchase Blencathra expired yesterday at noon and the agents acting for the owner Lord Lonsdale have said that several bids have been received, including one from The Friends of Blencathra, and that these were now being considered.

The 2,448ft mountain is being sold by the Earl to raise cash to help pay off a HMRC bill for inheritance tax. The deadline was marked yesterday by members of the Friends group walking from Keswick to Threlkeld and at their head was Sir Chris Bonnington himself, who actually lives close to the mountain.

The agents for the sale, H&H Land and Property have said that they have been very exited by the interest that has been shown in the sale and the guide price of £2.1 million. They confirmed that a number of sealed offers had been received and are confident that they can move quickly on the sale. Now that the deadline for bids had passed they now had to review each individual offer and report them to the appointed trustees and then await further instruction from the clients. An update would be issued to the public when appropriate.

One possible fly in the ointment on the sale is that The Friends of Blencathra have applied for the mountain to be registered as a community asset under the government’s Localism Act. However Eden District Council’s decision on this is not expected before next week, by which time the sale may have already been completed. So this weekend may be an opportune time to grab that Trespass jacket off the coat hook and head to the Lakes as who knows what will happen. Will Blencathra be the people's mountain or a plutocrat's prize? Let’s hope for the best for this iconic mountain.