Day 1 was a 20-mile walk from Lichfield to Stafford, from The Church of St Chad to The Collegiate Church of St. Mary. I started the walk with the traditional cross on the forehead with water from the holy well at St. Chad’s. I didn’t explode, so I’m fairly sure I’m not a vampire or a hellspawn.
The weather couldn’t make its mind up today and I’d had my raincoat on and off 3 times before I’d even left the starting point. After a couple of hours of stopping every 15 minutes to put my coat on as it started raining or take it off as the sun came out and I started to cook I decided I would just leave it and get wet. Every time I did that, of course, the rain would come down heavier or last longer and the coat would come out. Until 15 minutes later when the rain stopped and I started to poach in my jacket.
The first few hours were mostly uphill from Lichfield through Cross in Hand Lane, up the Side of Gentleshaw Common and on to Castle Ring, where I did a short Facebook Live Video
After all the rain the ground was damp and I had to take a detour around a flooded river walking into Stafford. By 2/3 through I was incredibly grateful I’d thought to pack backup shoes and multiple pairs of dry socks. I stopped at the Barley Mow for a “hydration break” and to change my footwear.
The route for last few hours passed along the side of the River Sow. However, this had greatly exceeded its natural banks so I had to follow a planned diversion for such occasions (unlike when I’d come along on my practice hike and just waded through shin-deep water).
So I came into Stafford shortly after that after about 8.5 hours and 47,000 steps. I was early enough to get to a shop and buy my self an extra backup paid of walking shoes, before booking into tonight’s B&B and going for dinner with my excellent support crew.
Throughout this walk I’m trying to raise awareness and, ultimately, funds for a Climate Emergency project run by some very good friends up in Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis. They’ve set aside half of their croft farm of carbon, offsetting, climate improvement and biodiversity projects.
Everyone’s familiar with the principle of “carbon offsetting”. If you do something with a large carbon footprint when why not help to fund a project that seeks to absorb that CO2 back into biomass (plants and trees). These guys do that in the form of a “Tree Treasury Certificate”. You give them £20 they will plant trees in the UK, not in some remote South-American location but in the UK. (and they’ll also use some of the money to fund additional tree planting in Brazil). They need to hit £15k of fundraising by 7pm on Sunday or none of the fundraising happens. Please, go buy a Tree Treasury Certificate and tell them I sent you. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/carbonguilt