Eric Robson will speak at the event

Eric Robson will speak at the event

A mini mountain festival will raise cash for mountain rescuers and an air ambulance service.

The Cumbria Fell Fest will take place in April and features navigation training, fellrunning, a gear auction and a talk by the veteran journalist who had to drag dialogue out of the taciturn author Alfred Wainwright.

Wasdale resident Eric Robson will speak about his time living and working in the Lake District and about his television series including his series with Wainwright, the more recent Wainwright’s Walks and Great Railway Journeys of the World.

The event will be staged at the Kirkgate Centre in Cockermouth and will be followed by a fashion show and charity auction with gear on offer from major outdoor brands.

The mini-festival will emphasise the need to enjoy the hills responsibly.

Over the course of the weekend visitors will be able to join international trail-runner Ricky Lightfoot for a family fell run or take part in a five-mile fell race and family town trail. Organisers are promising a wide selection of trade stands.

Matt Le Voi will lead navigation training

Matt Le Voi will lead navigation training

Cockermouth-based adventurer Matt Le Voi, of Lakeland Mountain Guides, will be leading navigational training. He and his team have international experience and aim to help visitors learn new skills while having fun on the fells.

People will be able to get involved in a mass litter pick and demonstrations by organisations such as the National Trust, as well as a photography competition which is open to all ages.

The entire weekend, apart from the fashion show, is free, though donations and any profits will go to two nominated charities: the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association and the Great North Air Ambulance.

Eric Robson said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Cockermouth for Cumbria Fell Fest.

“I have lived in Wasdale for more than 25 years and have been lucky enough to walk the fells of this gorgeous county with one of the greats, Alfred Wainwright.

“We shared a passion for this amazing landscape and I hope to communicate some of that enthusiasm to those visiting Fell Fest.

“But I’ve also seen first-hand how much damage can be caused to the landscape by inconsiderate use.

“We owe it to everyone to highlight how we should respect the mountains and care for them so they can be enjoyed by future generations for many years to come. Events like Fell Fest can play a huge part in making sure that happens.”

Budding photographers are being invited to submit their pictures now for the Fell Fest competition.

All pictures will be displayed online and the public will be asked to vote. The top 20 pictures in each category will then be displayed in a gallery at the festival and visitors will vote for their top three in each category.

The main venue for Fell Fest will be Cockermouth’s Kirkgate Centre and the festival will take place on 6 and 7 April. More details are on the Cumbria Fell Fest website.

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