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Controversial mine owner killed in crash

Posted 10 March 2011
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Controversial mine owner killed in crash
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The controversial owner of the Honister Slate Mine in the Lake District has died in a helicopter crash.

Millionaire businessman Mark Weir used the chopper to fly to and from the site but the craft came down nearby, Cumbria Police has confirmed.

After reviving production of the famous green slate at the site, Mr Weir has sought to introduce new tourism facilities in the area, including a proposed zip wire on Fleetwith Pike.

This was opposed by conservation group Friends of the Lake District worried about possible disruption to those who like to go walking on the fell.

Mr Weir withdrew his plans last year as the national park authority considered the scheme, but pledged to come back with a modified blueprint this year.

Although the tragedy leaves a question mark over the future of Honister, walkers can always be sure of being close to a number of mountains to climb.

Walking routes setting out from by the mine include paths up to Dale Head and Great Gable.