Alfred Wainwright was a supporter of the animal sanctuary. Photo: Wainwright estate

Alfred Wainwright was a supporter of the animal sanctuary. Photo: Wainwright estate

Four-legged friends will benefit from charity efforts by fans of the late author Alfred Wainwright.

Search dogs and their handlers, along with an animal rescue group supported by the writer during his lifetime, will be the beneficiaries of the Wainwright Society’s fundraising.

Most of the cash comes from an annual walking challenge and sales of the society’s calendar.

Next year, the group has decided to donate proceeds to Animal Rescue Cumbria and the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association.

The former was supported by the taciturn author during his time in Kendal.

Society secretary Derek Cockell said: “Animal Rescue Cumbria was originally formed in 1972 by a group of like-minded ladies to provide suitable homes for unwanted pets, in support of which they embarked on numerous fundraising activities to provide food, shelter and veterinary care.

“In 1974 the group recruited Alfred and Betty Wainwright. Wainwright was elected chairman of the organisation, and under his guidance Animal Rescue Cumbria was registered as a charity.

“Through the generosity of Alfred Wainwright, a fund was established with a view to creating a rescue centre, and after much effort Kapellan was acquired in 1984 and a year later was operational.

“Although Wainwright supported the charity financially in its early years, this ceased following his death in 1991 and ARC has been self-funding since then.

“Next year is the 30th anniversary of the animal shelter at Kapellan and the society is pleased to raise funds to support the work of taking in unwanted dogs and cats and helping to re-home them.”

Chairman of Animal Rescue Cumbria Kevin Whalley said: “I am delighted that the Wainwright Society had agreed to support us in our anniversary year.

“I think it is fair to say that ARC was the project closest to AW’s heart in his later years, and I am sure that he would be particularly happy to see this strengthening of the links between ARC and the Society that bears his name.”

Joint beneficiary of the group’s fundraising is the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association, whose handlers are mountain rescue team members who are also trained search dog handlers.

Mr Cockell said: “Seven years before the formation of the Search and Rescue Dogs Association in 1965, Wainwright dedicated Book Three, The Central Fells, of his Pictorial Guides to ‘the dogs of Lakeland, willing workers and faithful friends, and an essential part of Lakeland life.’

“Although Wainwright was not, at that time, thinking of mountain rescue dogs, he was clear that working dogs played a vital part in life on the fells.

“Since the formation of Sarda, rescue dogs have been an important integral part of the mountain search and rescue service. In 2015, the 50thanniversary of the formation of Sarda, the society is hoping to raise funds for the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association – which was SARDA Lakes until 2010 – to replace all the training radios of dog handlers, which are a vital part of communication whilst out on the fells.”

Mick Guy, treasurer of the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association, said: “Training requires instant clear communication between dog and handler, trainer and handler, handler and ‘volunteer dogsbody’, which is why reliable, efficient radios are essential.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Wainwright fans’ funds will boost disabled activity centre
  2. Challenge walkers raise cash for volunteer rescue team
  3. Wainwright fans back wildlife charity to mark twin anniversaries
  4. Edale rescue team to raise cash for Sheffield hospital helipad
  5. Variety show in memory of Ken Blakeman will raise cash for Kinder rescue team