Anne and John Nuttall on Hedgehope Hill

Anne and John Nuttall on Hedgehope Hill

The couple who gave their names to a whole class of hills have completed an impressive third round of all the mountains in England and Wales.

John and Anne Nuttall, the Cheshire-based pair who compiled a list of the 2,000-footers in England and Wales, reckon they have also created their own mountain – of books.

The Mountains of England and Wales, the two-volume guidebooks to all the hills over 2,000ft (610m) with a prominence of 50ft (15m), is now in its third edition and the couple estimate if all the copies already sold were stacked on top of each other, they would create a new nuttall 2,000ft tall.

Mr Nuttall said: “The books have become the definitive guide to the mountains and it is the ambition of many walkers to climb them all.  To date a total of 189 people have accomplished this feat.”  Now the Nuttalls have done it three times.

He explained his definition of a mountain: “It must be at least 2,000ft high and must rise above its surroundings by at least 50ft. So obviously Scafell Pike, Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Snowdon are mountains, but there are many, many more.  In all there are 443 mountains – 190 in Wales and 253 in England.

The summit party on Moel Eilio

The summit party on Moel Eilio

The Nuttalls’ third round of Wales was completed last year when John carried their 2½-year-old grandson Matthew to the summit of Moel Eilio, south of Snowdon. Conditions were far from good, with the wind gusting to 70mph (113kph), but John said the summit was reached after a struggle by the group which included friends as well as John and Anne’s son Joe, his wife Tara plus their other children Sam, six, and eight-year-old Heather.

John continued: “The final summit in England was however a solitary affair. No fanfare, just a sunny afternoon alone on Hedgehope Hill in the Cheviots. The party is for later, but down to earth at home.”

The updated edition of The Mountains of England and Wales includes two new English nuttalls: Honister Crag in the Lake District and Birks Fell in the Yorkshire Dales.

Wales has lost one top, but gained 10, including Mynydd Graig Goch, accurately surveyed by the trio of amateur hill sleuths, Graham Jackson, John Barnard and Myrddyn Phillips.

The two volumes are published by Cicerone Press.

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