Protecting our seas
Our seas give us life. They give us food, they give us oxygen, they make clouds to give us rain and they absorb carbon dioxide.
And yet, our seas are in danger. We use them as a sewer, we're filling them with plastic that will linger for hundreds of years, and we're fishing faster than populations can replenish.
The Marine Conservation Society works tirelessly to create healthy seas and coastlines that support abundant marine life. They want our seas to provide enjoyment for everyone as well as sustainable livelihoods, and I want to help them.
The original challenge
This summer, I will walk the South West Coast Path from Minehead on the north coast of Somerset to Poole on the south coast of Dorset. The route is 630 miles long - that's 1,014 km - and much further than I have ever walked before. I have pledged to raise £10,140 for the Marine Conservation Society - that's £10 per kilometre I walk. Will you help me?
Because the path follows the cliff-tops and dives down to river level at every estuary, the total ascent of the route is almost 115,000 feet - just over 35,000 metres, which is four times the height of Mount Everest. This is not going to be easy...
The updated challenge
Due to the challenges of travel during the Coronavirus pandemic, my challenge has become 'Julia's Fantasy Jellyfish Journey'. I will walk the same distance and the same ascent/descent, following government guidelines at all times. At the moment, this means walking out from my house every day for around an hour. At three miles a day, the challenge will take me around seven months instead of the two I had planned for.
To attract more attention - and hopefully more money - during my walk, I will be wearing a jellyfish costume, hence ‘Julia’s jellyfish journey’.
What does the sea mean to you?
I'm doing this because the sea is important to me. It started with childhood holidays, as I'm sure it did for most of us, chasing waves, peering into rockpools and playing on the beach. As I grew up, I developed a love of cliff-top walking and boat trips to look for whales and dolphins. I get next to, onto and into the sea at every opportunity, although living in the centre of the country, it doesn't happen as often as I would like.
But this isn't about me - I am asking to you support my fundraising efforts because of what the sea means to you, and to all of us.
Anything you can contribute towards helping me achieve my target will be massively appreciated – and help me to meet this challenge with a smile on my face.
Training on the Malvern Hills.