Diehard devotees of the prototype Grumpy Old Man are to launch a campaign for official recognition of one of his legacies to the outdoor world.Grisedale Tarn and Seat Sandal

Alfred Wainwright's illustrated guides to the Lakeland fells are some of the best read pieces of outdoor literature – idiosyncratic, opinionated and compelling. He came up with a route for a coast-to-coast walk late in his writing career and now the society that promotes his literature and works wants the route granted official trail status.

Grisedale Tarn and Seat Sandal (above). The Coast-to-Coast Walk passes through some of northern England's most spectacular scenery

A Coast to Coast Walk was published in 1972 and describes a 190-mile walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. The route traverses some of the most spectacular scenery in the Lake District, the northern Pennines, Cleveland Hills and the North York Moors.

According to the Wainwright Society, it was voted the number two trail in the world, beaten only by a New Zealand long-distance walking route. The society says the C-to-C route should be accorded National Trail status, bringing with it investment and protection.

Tens of thousands of walkers are said to tackle the walk each year, bringing economic benefits to towns and villages along the route.

The Wainwright Society has launched an e-petition on its website and hopes to present the results to Natural England, the successor body to the Countryside Agency, in January next year.

Log on to the site if you want to add your name, or use the postal address there if you’d like to use the increasingly baffling system that is the Royal Mail.