In July, APF CEO, Dave Stedman, and Projects Coordinator, Geoff Holder, accompanied by Geoff’s dog Dylan, tackled 50 miles of Offa’s Dyke Path in the Welsh Marches in three days. They were fundraising to help APF partners tackle Covid-19 in Africa and generous sponsors donated over £3,000 for the walk. Geoff describes some of the ups and downs (literally) of their hike.
We set off bright and early from the Welsh market town of Monmouth. The first day took in green, rolling Monmouthshire farmland, the skyline increasingly dominated by Ysgyryd Fawr, a mountain known locally as The Skirrid.
Neither Dave nor I had had a chance to do any real preparation before we started. By mid-afternoon we were both feeling it, but the long-term effects of Dave’s encounter with Covid were beginning to concern both of us. Fortunately, a banana, my brief history lesson about why the Mercian king Offa probably didn’t build his dyke along this part of the Welsh border, and a decent pause meant we were able to stumble on and finish the stage.
After the laboured climb onto Hatterrall Ridge, the second day took us up into the magnificent Black Mountains. With spectacular views in every direction we made good progress until I had to retrace my steps after losing Dylan’s lead somewhere near the summit of Hay Bluff.
The final stretch to Kington included the most varied terrain: lush river valley meadows and deep wooded dingles, craggy upland ridges and ancient green lanes. Our blisters and cramps were soothed by messages of encouragement from African friends affected by Covid-19.
2021 has been a good year for sponsored walks with APF staff and trustees raising nearly £10,000 from a wide range of different sorts of hikes, treks, strolls and rambles. In addition to part of Offa’s Dyke Path, 70 x 70 minute dog walks and the entire length of the Chesterfield Canal have all been conquered.
Why not plan your own sponsored walk for APF next year? Get in touch if you’d like to have a go at a sponsored event or activity of your own. We can help you set up a sponsorship web page, share what your doing on social media and generate some support.