Walk The Path – A Walker’s View

Myself (Scott Kelly) and partner (Julie Dawe) live in Camberley with our dog Zara. All three of us are taking part in the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust event “Walk The Path 2014” (http://www.bvct.org.uk/node/387). This is a 10-mile walk from Sandhurst to Swallowfield, following the Blackwater River and following some parts of the riverside that are not normally open to the public. There are more than 200 people taking part in this walk.

We have decided to do this as a sponsored walk with the proceeds in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell hospice (www.pth.org.uk). We both have friends and relatives who have received and are currently receiving palliative care from hospices including Phyllis Tuckwell and have a great deal of respect for the work that these organisations provide. To try to encourage friends and relative to dig a bit deeper, Scott (from Scotland) will do the walk wearing his kilt and of course, a “Get Fit For Phyllis” t-shirt! We already have pledges totalling roughly £500 (ed: now well over £600) and this is a few weeks before the walk and are confident that figure will increase before the event! The Just Giving link is here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ScottandJulie.

The walk itself was enjoyable although the weather and conditions could have been a bit better, especially since Scott was wearing a heavy woollen kilt on the day!! It was dry for the most part over the first 5 miles and the “GET FIT FOR PHYLLIS” t-shirts were on display. However, the second 5 miles saw several downpours to slow us up!!! The terrain was quite difficult in several areas as recent rainfall over the previous couple of days had left the ground very soggy, flooded and muddy in places. We completed the route in roughly 4 hours and 15 minutes (including stops for drinks and lunch).

However, we want to check with the organisers if this was really only 10 miles as it felt like considerably more towards the end!!! Julie was a minor casualty to the blister demons and Scott slightly to the kilt rash demons but all in all we made it to the end largely unscathed.

We got some wet feet at times but the one who enjoyed the muddy conditions the most was our little springer spaniel called Zara. She was so filthy at the end that we had to give her a bath / shower. The debris left in the bath at the end was amazing.

Many thanks to all from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust for all of the organisation they put into making this event happen and thanks to everyone for the sponsorship and support.


Scott Kelly, Julie Dawe and Zara


Everyone's clean

Everyone’s clean

Still going strong

Still going strong

Mucky pup!

Mucky pup!

Tired but successful

Tired but successful

About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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