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Ridgeway 40 Challenge

As Anthony is having a well deserved holiday, we have a guest blog from one of our supporters, Chloe Hardman. Chloe and her colleagues recently raised a fantastic £900 for our Feed the Bees campaign by completing the Ridgeway Challenge. We'd like to thank Chloe and all our fundraisers for the fantastic job they do to support our work.

Ridgeway 40 Challenge

It was back in October that we decided to do a charity challenge.   Sat in a pub looking out on a rainy dark evening, embarking on the biggest walk of our lives in the summer was an exciting prospect.  We thought it would be a great opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause.   The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a vibrant charity that actively improves habitat for bumblebees on the ground, and gets people interested in bumblebees, which was exactly what we wanted to support. 

My colleagues (Rebecca Evans and Mike Garratt) and I appreciate bees on many levels.  Not just how fascinating they are, what an important part they play in the ecosystem, but just how much work wild bees do for us for free, pollinating delicious strawberries, apples, raspberries and much more.  We are very concerned about the declines in their populations over recent decades, so this inspired us to support the “Feed the Bees” campaign.   The response from our friends, family and colleagues was amazing!  We had set an initial target of £500 but eventually raised £900!

  

The walk itself had to be delayed from May to July because of a family emergency for one of our team mates, so we did not take part in the organised Ridgeway 40 event.   We had to go it alone, carrying all our food and water for the day.  We were very lucky with the weather, and enjoyed the route being fairly quiet, which helped us to appreciate the wildlife around us during the walk.  We were pleased to see six bumblebee species on the walk.

Other highlights of the walk included the beautiful views, and our lunch and dinner breaks!  The lowlights were: missing a water tap so having to back-track and losing 45 minutes in the process, and being very stiff and sore when starting off again after our dinner break.  The last 10 miles were particularly painful and tended to drag a bit, and we had to use head torches for the last 3 miles.  However we did see a hedgehog in the dark, which was a treat!

When we finally got to the end point, 15 hours after we had set off, we were very happy, exhausted and decided sitting in a car had never felt so comfortable!

I’d like to say a huge thank you once again to everyone who donated to the cause, and for anyone considering a long distance walking challenge, go for it!  It’s a great way to physically challenge yourself whilst enjoying a large stretch of the British countryside.  I look forward to seeing how the Bumblebee Conservation Trust uses the money from the Feed the Bees campaign to grow its fantastic conservation work.

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