EDP farming editor nears the end of his picturesque 220-mile Norfolk charity trek
PUBLISHED: 11:21 31 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:00 31 October 2016
Chris Hill, the EDP's farming editor, is just hours away from completing his 220-mile trek around Norfolk to raise money for a conservation charity.
The agricultural reporter set off on Saturday 22 October for the 10-day solo walk, using the network of Norfolk Trails to explore the county’s coastal wildlife havens, the wetlands of the Broads, the heaths of the Brecks and the Roman heritage of the west Norfolk.
The route encompasses the Norfolk Coast Path from Hunstanton to Sea Palling, then follows the Weavers Way to Great Yarmouth before taking the Angles Way through the Waveney valley to Knettishall Heath, from where the Peddars Way wends its way back to Holme next the Sea.
After an average of 22 miles per day, he’s been staying overnight on the route in a campervan driven by his father and support crew, Tom.
Chris is raising money for the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), the animal charity which runs Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, and also works with international conservation projects and breeding programmes to help threatened species around the world.
Speaking before the trek, he said: “As a Norfolk boy this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while – it’s a great way to see the diversity of landscape, history and wildlife which this fine county has to offer at a beautiful time of year. Hopefully the weather is kind, but I’ll be ready for anything.
“I’ve done a few long-distance walks before, like the Coast to Coast across northern England and the West Highland Way in Scotland, but I’ve never done this mileage day after day. So I’m prepared for it to hurt – I’m packing my blister plasters, knee supports and paracetamol and hopefully if anyone sees me limping along the trail they’ll take pity on me, come and say hello, and throw a few quid in the collection bucket for a good cause.
“I think most people in East Anglia will be familiar with Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, but fewer will be aware of the charitable work that ZSEA supports around the world, so this seemed a good way of raising that profile, and earning them some cash.”
The trek will also serve as training for an even bigger fundraising effort for ZSEA in January, as Chris will join an expedition to climb Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest freestanding mountain at an altitude of 5,895m.
• If you see Chris Hill on the final day of his journey give him a wave, beep your horn or tweet a photo using the hashtag #HonkForHill - you can’t miss him in his giraffe-patterned trousers.
• To sponsor Chris’s Big Walk, click here.