A WOODEN squirrel that once stood proudly at the gates of a Lake District hotel has been sold to raise funds for a South Lakeland hospice.

Mawson has left his home at the Langdale Chase after being sold for £2,250 at auction to Holgates caravan parks in Silverdale. The money is to be donated to St Mary's Hospice in Ulverston.

The squirrel was a beacon to welcome visitors to the Langdale Chase, on the shores, of Windermere, that was formerly run by Thomas Noblett, and his wife Clare, whose idea it was to have the auction.

"The hospice has a special place in mine and Clare’s heart, due to the fact Clare’s mother was looked after with great care and dignity there in the last few weeks of her life," said Mr Noblett. "Staff made sure she was comfortable, and was treated with great dignity and professionalism, so we are pleased that the money raised is going to such a worthwhile place.

"For one day all of us, in our Autumn years, might need the services and care of this wonderful establishment."

Mr Noblett added that at his new home Mawson, who was sculpted by Andrew Levy, would continue in his role as an ambassadorial leader in the preservation of the red squirrels, which also was what the hotel Langdale Chase was renowned for.

Michael Holgate, whose family has owned Silverdale Holiday Park for over 60 years, and works closely with the Westmorland Red Squirrels charity, said Mawson will have a dual role in becoming the park's new mascot, and in helping to raise awareness of how people can help Cumbria's native red squirrels to thrive.

He presented his cheque to St Mary's Hospice area fundraiser Charlotte Windle when he arrived to collect Mawson from the Low Wood Marina in Windermere, his temporary home.

Also present were Thomas Noblett and Kendal-based wood sculptor Andrew Levy who Thomas originally commissioned to create Mawson.