A group devoted to the works of the late fellwalking author Alfred Wainwright is backing a bid to help disabled people enjoy the Lake District.
The Wainwright Society named the Lake District Calvert Trust as its main charity beneficiary for 2016.
The trust is planning to renovate the Bowderstone Bothy in Borrowdale to make it accessible for wheelchair users and other disabled people.
Wainwright Society secretary Derek Cockell said: “The Lake District Calvert Trust has had the opportunity to take out a 20-year lease on the Bowderstone Bothy, owned by the National Trust, with the aim of turning this mountain bothy into a fully accessible venue for their disabled visitors, with wheelchair access, widened internal doors, new accessible bathroom cubicles, a new fitted-kitchen area and wood burning stoves replacing the open fires.”
Money raised by the society through its annual charity challenge, together with sales of its 2017 Calendar, will be used to fund renovation work on the Bowderstone Bothy enabling all of the Calvert Trust’s disabled visitors to have an overnight remote camping experience, to help personal growth, perseverance, self-belief, self-confidence and an ability to overcome challenge.
The bothy is situated in the heart of Borrowdale, in the midst of Wainwright’s ‘loveliest square mile in Lakeland – the Jaws of Borrowdale’. It is also close to the trust’s accessible abseil site where a specially adapted Larkin frame, as used by mountain rescue teams, provides an exhilarating experience to all the disabled visitors, who are able to leave their wheelchairs, even if only for a short time, as they descend the 70-feet crag.
Mr Cockell said: “Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides give ordinary people the confidence to explore the Lake District, climb the mountains and enjoy the wonderful scenery.
“One of the aims of the Wainwright Society is to introduce a wider audience to fellwalking and caring for the hills.
“By raising much needed funds for the Lake District Calvert Trust, the members of the society will be assisting others to experience the benefits of the superlative landscape of the Lake District as well as providing an opportunity to undertake physical and intellectual challenges outside of their day-to-day lives.”