I am very pleased to report that I managed to complete the 80 mile 'Source to Sea' walk along the Eden. My short legs aren't really designed for walking and as such I found the first two days pretty hard going. Getting out of bed each morning was a challenge that somewhat reminded me of the lengthy process of firing-up the engines of an old WW2 Dakota, I onced witnessed. Lots of heaving, pulling, straining, coughing, swearing, moaning and stretching before finally spluttering into something resembling life......
The walk and the excellent ERT staff, guests, landowners and volunteers we met along the way were stimulating and inspiring. I feel very privileged to have walked 'my river' in it's entirety. I would thoroughly recommend it, however my advice would be to perhaps undertake it at a more sedate pace!
Highlights for me were too numerous to list but the first mornings walk down from Hell Gill to Kirby Stephen was very special indeed. During the four days we showed Rory Stewart many aspects of our work from electric fishing, crayfish surveying, habitat restoration, farm conservation advice, invasive species management through to our research and education based activities. To have four days with your local MP is an opportunity not to be squandered and in Rory's words it was "a wonderful four days. I learnt an enormous amount from the ERT team and I will remember it forever"
To date we have raised about £900, which is a little disappointing considering the pain I had to endure. But the success of the endeavour should not be measured in fiscal terms alone. The wide-ranging PR the walk received has ensured that awareness of the ERT brand continues to grow, and in these tough economic times...that is priceless!
If you would consider a donation - its not too late. This can be dome via our Just Giving website :
Just click and donate. Easy....unlike the walk!
Now what should be my challenge next year......?