Adventurous travel writer Jen Lowthrop is stepping out on her biggest challenge yet – hiking across England’s 10 national parks to raise £10,000 for Peak District projects.
Jen – who is chair of trustees for the Peak District National Park Foundation – aims to hike 1,000 miles over the course of 10 weeks to achieve her ambitious target.
A Walk In The Parks begins on Saturday 19 August and will include routes across Northumberland, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, South Downs, New Forest, Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Peak District National Parks. Halfway through, she’ll swap walking boots for a canoe – to traverse the Broads National Park.
Jen, who writes the travel blog She Gets Around, will be joined on the epic trip by her rescue dog, Cookie. The Peak District will be their final leg, from 20 to 28 October.
Throughout the 1000-mile journey, Jen will meet key people to learn more about what makes each national park special and why they need to be protected.
Jen says: “This challenge is a combination of all my favourite things: walking, writing, Cookie the dog, sharing the importance of national parks and connecting with nature.
“As chair of trustees for the Peak District National Park Foundation, I understand the urgent need for us to both protect our national parks and ensure everyone can experience the benefits of spending time in them.
“I have wanted to do a hiking challenge for a while and also wanted to raise money for the Peak District Foundation. I knew I wanted to do something different and something big. I love hiking, love national parks and am passionate about sharing the importance of our national parks, both to our physical and mental wellbeing – and for the planet, too. A Walk In The Parks seemed the perfect challenge.
“National parks contain some of the largest carbon sinks in the UK and are vital to so many rare species and habitats. With this June being the hottest since records began, we are reminded that our climate is in crisis and I believe in the power of our national parks to help us connect with nature and combat climate change.
“I want to spread that message to more people through my journey and help them to understand and experience the benefits of our beautiful national parks.”
The Peak District National Park Foundation raises funds to support projects in the park, and the funds raised by Jen’s walk will go towards projects promoting accessibility and wellbeing, and tackling climate change and its impacts.
Jen adds: “I will be walking about 10 to 20 miles a day, though it could be slightly less or slightly more. It will vary depending on the terrain, where I need to get to in order to have a bed for the night and how well my feet and Cookie’s paws are holding up!
“I have been walking daily, increasing my mileage over the last few weeks. Cookie has been in training with me too. It’s our biggest ever challenge and we can’t wait to get started!”
Donate link: https:// peakdistrict.enthuse. com/pf/a-walk-in-the-parks