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Meet the Norfolk man who’s branching out for charity - by living in a tree at Pentney, near King’s Lynn, for a month

14:57 21 August 2012

Sonny Yallop has been living up a tree for a month to raise money for charity. Picture: Ian Burt

Sonny Yallop has been living up a tree for a month to raise money for charity. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Some dream of waving palms and tropical beaches when they plan a holiday. But Sonny Yallop’s spending half his summer out in the sticks - literally.


Mr Yallop is living up an ash tree on the edge of the Fens for a month to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

So far the 41-year-old unemployed carpenter, from King’s Lynn, has survived downpours, thunderstorms and the recent heatwave since he took to his lofty perch, overlooking the River Nar near Pentney Abbey, on August 1.

“I had the idea about 10 years ago, I wondered what it would be like to live in a tree for a month,” he said.

“I was going to do it regardless, but I thought I’d do it for the cause after I lost my aunt to cancer.”

Mr Yallop’s aunt Yvonne Branham, who was 71, died of lung cancer last May. Father-of-four Mr Yallop, who has three grandchildren, said he had lost a number of other family members to cancer.

So far Mr Yallop’s makeshift platform, lashed to the boughs 35ft above the riverbank in Tazan-esque style, has survived the ups and downs of the british summer.

A storm brolly and camping equipment used on carp fishing trips has been pressed into service, along with a system of ropes and pulleys - and an improvised chemical toilet.

“I’d go fishing for two nights, three nights, four nights - depending on the weather,” he said. “Not fishing for a month, but I wish.

“I’ve got pretty much everything I need up here. I’ve got my laptop and camera, I like meditating and doing tai chi.”

Family members are bringing milk, drinking water and fresh batteries in relays. Mr Yallop communicates via a Facebook page, featuring some of the sunrises and sunsets he has witnessed from his vantage point.

Walkers and cyclists using the Nar Valley Way east of King’s lynn have passed beneath Mr Yallop’s tree, near Pentney Abbey, without realising he is there. Others have stopped to offer donations.

Mr Yallop plans to end his stint on September 1, when he also celebrates his 42nd birthday. Until then, he said his feet won’t be touching the ground.

So far, Mr Yallop has raised just over £150. Follow the link above to jis Just giving Page.

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