Author, artist and friend of Alfred Wainwright
Mark Richards is widely considered to be one of the main experts on fellwalking in the Lake District. Mark is the author of the Fellranger series of guidebooks. Released in 2013 these are the most comprehensive guides to England’s most beautiful mountain landscape produced since Alfred Wainwright's Pictoral Guides to the Lake District.
Mark Richards has walked in the footsteps – literally and figuratively – of the late Alfred Wainwright. Mark is one of the very few people to have accompanied Alfred Wainwright on a fell walk, evidenced by a grainy photograph taken by him that day, which depicts Alfred and his wife Betty on the summit. The exact date is noted on page 228 of AW’s Pictorial Guide to the Outlying Fells.
Mark's transition from Oxfordshire farmer to full-time outdoor writer was a gradual one. In 1973, with the direct encouragement of Alfred Wainwright, with whom he regularly spent weekends, Mark wrote his first walking guide to the Cotswold Way. His love of pen & ink drawing being the foundation of his friendship with Wainwright and the spur to craft walking guides which continues to this day. Wainwright gave him the confidence and self-belief to write. No surprise that, in due course, he too created his own expression of the Lakeland Fells with Cicerone.
A love of exploring the fabric of our countryside, its history and people on foot forms the basis of his work. In Mark's own words "seeking to open new eyes to sense the magic and liberty of the great outdoors".