Boy, 14, missing from home in Cumbria found safe and well

A 14-year-old boy missing from home in Cumbria since Saturday has been found safe and well, the Guardian understands.

Leven Sopwith-Nicholson had not been seen since Saturday night when he disappeared from his home in Ulverston after going to bed. It has not yet been announced where he was found, but his parents earlier had said he might have been trying to reach the Alps after struggling with his mental health during lockdown.

He had taken a green Osprey rucksack with him, as well as a green Vango banshee funnel tent, and his parents believe he may be wild camping.

His father, Toby Nicholson, told BBC Radio Cumbria on Tuesday: “We think he has been secretly planning this for a while. He has an ambition to go to the Alps and unfortunately we have no idea what route he wants to take.”

He and Leven’s mother, Fiona Sopwith, said they did not know what Leven had taken with him beyond the rucksack and one-man tent, or whether he had a map. He did not have a phone or a bank card.

Sopwith had said: “I’ve been very worried about Leven for quite a long time. His mental health has been very bad during the lockdown.”

Nicholson said: “He’s a lovely guy, and he’s got everything going for him. He’s very fit, you know, he can move fast, so that makes our task of finding him all the more difficult … He hasn’t got a phone, he hasn’t got a bank card, so it’s difficult to trace where he is. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Cumbria police said they were concerned for his welfare and appealed for information on his whereabouts. They also asked Leven to let them know if he was safe and well.

A Facebook page that was set up to try to find him had urged anyone who thought they may have spotted Leven not to rush in. “Monitor from a distance until we can get it confirmed or get there,” said the group’s administrator. “He’s only 14, we don’t want to scare him.”

One person on the Facebook page claimed Leven had been seen reading survival books in his school library the previous week.

Volunteers combed the surrounding area looking for him, including fell-running clubs.


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