This is our statement on the Lake District National Park's announcement this week of selling 8 areas of land, including Stickle Tarn:

We understand the financial pressures that have created the present situation for the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), and recognise that this may be an issue for several years.

The Lake District National Park Authority is not required to own land by law (many other national parks do not own land), and has the right to sell land that it owns: only the National Trust holds land that cannot be sold by law. The National Park Authority is acting legally in terms of what it is required to do in notifying its intention to sell, and advertising those sales.

However, we regret that LDNPA feels the need to change its land portfolio so significantly, particularly disposing of popular and iconic properties such as Stickle Tarn.

Friends of the Lake District would be concerned if the change to the Lake District National Park Authority's land portfolio resulted in land being held for commercial or operational reasons only, and not for the reasons national parks were originally set up, ie. to conserve and enhance their natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage, and to promote opportunities for their understanding and enjoyment by the public.

We greatly value the role of the Lake District National Park Authority as a land holder, able to manage land in accordance with national park purposes and provide an example of good practice on behalf of the nation, and we hope this role will continue.

Friends of the Lake District is eager to ensure that future owners of the sale properties understand, and are in sympathy with, the use of the land for national park purposes, and are committed to managing the land in a way that protects the Lake District landscape for generations to come. Therefore, we have requested conditions are attached to the sale of land, that reflect this commitment to long-term stewardship for the future.