An inquest has heard how a Cambridge University PhD student tragically died during a Lake District fell running "game".

John Grenfell-Shaw was one of around two dozen friends taking part in an annual social challenge last summer they called "Hare and Hounds".

Runners assumed the roles of either hares or hounds - the latter chasing the former over different terrain within a set area in order to "tag" them.

During the game, hares would carry a horn to toot and draw attention to themselves.

An inquest in Cockermouth yesterday heard how 25-year-old mathematician Mr Grenfell-Shaw - a fit and "extremely capable runner, scrambler and climber" - was making his sixth visit with a group based at a Seatoller holiday let.

In beautiful, sunny weather on the morning of July 5, Mr Grenfell-Shaw was a "hare" followed by a "hound" to Haystacks, Buttermere.

He chose to run down a gully on the north side of the fell.

A statement provided by friend Pollie Boyle and read to the inquest revealed: "This is an area that runners are told is very dangerous and should be avoided."

Mr Grenfell-Shaw was instructed by his pursuing hound he wouldn't be followed down that route.

Last seen at 11.30am, he was reported missing several hours later.

There followed a search involving mountain rescuers and his friends, who were left "completely shell-shocked" when his body was found that evening in a gully near Haystacks' 1,959ft summit.

Mr Grenfell-Shaw, of Bristol, died from a traumatic head injury.

Senior Cumbria coroner Kally Cheema concluded: "It is more likely than not that John's death was as a result of an accident."

The suggestion, she said, was that he had fallen "a considerable distance".

His father, Mark, spoke of his son "living life to the full", describing him as "deeply analytical" and "always deeply calculated" in his approach to risk.

In her statement, Ms Boyle said: "John was an extremely capable runner, scrambler and climber, and not an undue risk-taker, all of which led us to be less concerned than perhaps we otherwise might have been. He was a very talented person yet very modest, and would always have gone out of his way to help someone.

"He will be sorely missed."