Henham film student returns from Arctic wilderness

A film student is all smiles after returning from the trip of a lifetime to the Arctic wilderness.

Lucy Shepherd carried out the two-month expedition in Svalbard as part of a 10-person team of 18- to 23-year-olds with the charity British Schools Exploring Society (BSES).

The 18-year-old, from Henham, said she was still trying to 'adjust back to normal life', adding: 'It's been weird eating normal food again.'

Getting on the expedition was an achievement in itself and Miss Shepherd had to fill in application forms, attend an interview and take part in a training weekend.

BSES aims to educate young people by providing challenging scientific expeditions to remote, wild environments. The aim is to then help them develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills and instill a sense of adventure.

She said: 'Sometimes people are put off by doing things like this because they think they can't, but they can. It's much easier when you are out there. If you put your all into it you can do it.

'After we set off, we never saw another soul for weeks. We camped on the ice and carried out different research projects for global warming. We were totally self reliant and carried all our supplies on sledges behind us using 1940's cross country skis.'

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Miss Shepherd also endured temperatures averaging -25C and carried a rifle at all times to protect herself from the increasing numbers of polar bears. 'We could never go anywhere without a rifle and we also had 10 flares each in our pockets,' she added.

She documented the expedition on film and is hoping to submit it to BSES for them to use it as a promotional video.

She also plans to use it for her university coursework when she leaves for York University to study for a film and television production degree in October.

'I went into it for the adventure but living in a polar region was great,' she said.

'I would also like to thank everyone who donated money, including The Mason Trust, The Old Woodbridgians Society, Festival Republic and Lord Mayor's 800th Anniversary Awards Trust.'

Miss Shepherd raised �5,200 for the BSES charityFor information on BSES visit www.bses.org.uk or call 020 7591 3141.

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