Cumbria has lost a colourful character with the death of Hugh Lowther, Earl of Lonsdale, aged 72.
Hugh, as he was generally known, at one time worked as a lorry driver, provided the Herald with photographs he took as he flew his microlight aircraft over the Eden area, and was married three times.
He hit the national headlines in 2014 when he put the Lakeland mountain Blencathra on the market to pay off a £9 million inheritance tax bill — although the sale never went ahead.
He later said the move had been a last resort, and the money required had been found in other ways.
Although not usually given to making public statements, he did speak out in 2005 against a proposed wind farm development on Lowther land at Whinash, near Tebay, saying the area would be ruined by huge wind turbines, which would be better put out at sea.
The only son of the 7th Earl of Lonsdale, James Lowther, and his first wife Tuppina Cecily Bennet, Hugh inherited the earldom following the death of his father in 2006.
There was a lengthy legal dispute over who should have control of the estate left by the 7th Earl — valued at £325 million or more.
Hugh’s first marriage in 1971 was to Pamela Colleen Middleton, with the second, in 1986, to Angela Mary Wyatt, and the third, in 1999, to Elizabeth Arnison.
He had no children able to inherit the earldom, which is due to pass to his half brother, William James Lowther, the son of the 7th Earl and his second wife.
Hugh died at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle on Tuesday.