MEET THE MINI MOUNTAINEE­RS

Lancashire Life - - SPOOKY LANCASHIRE - WORDS & PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: Mil­ton Ha­worth

Many young­sters their age are con­tent to play with their toys, but a Bow­ness brother and sis­ter are hap­pi­est in their walk­ing boots

Ev­ery­one has high hopes for their children but Susie An­ton has taken it to a whole new level. Her daugh­ter, Mar­ley-rose, five, and her brother Kobe, four, started climb­ing just about as soon as they could walk. Now, the girl with a head for heights has com­pleted 40 of the 214

Lake Dis­trict fells known as ‘Wain­wrights’ while her lit­tle brother has con­quered an im­pres­sive 25.

Susie, 33, a per­sonal trainer from Bow­ness, has been with her children ev­ery step of the way but all the hikes have been done un­der their own steam.

She said: ‘I wanted to get them into out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and fit­ness as soon as pos­si­ble. I would go out jog­ging with them in a stroller and as soon as Mar­ley-rose could walk, she wanted to jog too.

‘We did our first Wain­wright when Mar­ley-rose was about 18 months old, leav­ing Kobe, who was six months old, with his grand­par­ents. We walked up Loughrigg and she did it all on

‘Peo­ple are so sur­prised when they see them walk­ing up the moun­tains be­cause they are so young...they often get high-fives from other walk­ers who can’t believe how tiny they are’

her own. Mind you, it took us all day!’

As well as Loughrigg Fell the young­sters have al­ready man­aged some of the more dif­fi­cult climbs like Skid­daw and Helvel­lyn. Mar­ley-rose also climbed Con­is­ton Old Man in bleak mid­win­ter un­der the watch­ful eyes of Susie, a sin­gle mum.

They often meet sea­soned walk­ers who can’t believe their eyes when they see the small children ap­pear at the summit of these ‘Wain­wrights’.

‘Peo­ple are so sur­prised when they see them walk­ing up the moun­tains be­cause they are so young,’ said Susie. ‘They often get high-fives from other walk­ers who can’t believe how tiny they are.’

The children have had walk­ing birth­day par­ties where friends and fam­ily join in on the fells. Mar­ley-rose is now tak­ing up fell run­ning with Susie.

Will they bag all 214 Wain­wrights? ‘We just try to make the climbs fun and they seem keen to keep do­ing more walks. I’m so incredibly proud of them both but I’m also just con­stantly amazed. I can’t believe it some­times.

‘It’s great that they love the outdoors and its a mas­sive bonus that we live in the fab­u­lous Lake Dis­trict with this in­cred­i­ble beauty on our doorstep.’

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ABOVE: Happy Trails! Susie An­ton with Mar­ley­rose and Kobe An­ton-tay­lor, the in­trepid walk­ers aged 4 and 5.

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