A CHARITY walker from Derbyshire has been treking Dartmoor this month as part of a mammoth A Walk in the Parks challenge.
Jenny Lowthrop, along with her faithful hound Cookie, have been hiking through ten of the UK’s national parks over ten weeks and notching up 1000 miles in the process to hopefully reach a £10,000 target.
The challenge is raising money for the Peak District Foundation and they are match funded by the Alpkit Foundation with £1000 to give out to projects in each national park they visit.
Jenny said: ‘I’m not sure where the idea came from, but I love hiking, love national parks and am passionate about sharing the importance of our national parks, both to our physical and mental wellbeing, but for the planet too.
‘National parks contain some of the biggest carbon sinks in the UK and are vital to so many rare breeds and habitats… I believe in the power of our national parks to help us connect with nature and improve our climate. I want to spread that message to more people through my hike and see more people understand and experience the benefits of our beautiful national parks.’
Recalling her time in Dartmoor, Jenny said: ‘We were so lucky with the weather on the moorlands, sunshine, blue skies – not what you expect in October. Dartmoor showed me its best side!’
‘I got the typical rain and fog when I climbed high Willhays though, and sadly no view to the sea, apparently on a good day you can see both seas!
‘I don’t think I’ve been to Dartmoor before, maybe a pit-stop when visiting Devon as a kid but I’ve not done any hiking there before.’
Her route took her from Ivybridge to Scorriton, Widecombe in the Moor, Chagford Common where she wild camped, to Okehampton, High Willhays, and back to Okehampton. The pair are completing the highest peak in each park too.
She relished some local delights from the Cafe on the Green in Widecombe, The Folklore, Chagford, The Ring of Bells in North Bovey, and The Warren House in Chagford. As well as wild camping on Chagford Common she enjoyed a cosy night in an off-the-grid cabin just outside of Widecombe in the moor with ‘a lovely view of Haytor Rocks.’ She and Simon Lee, the lead ranger of Dartmoor, paid a visit to Haytor together.
Jenny and Cookie had walked 750 miles and 1.4 million steps by the time they got to Dartmoor. Jenny said: ‘Along the way we have loved meeting people from different national parks and learning more about what makes each park special and why we need to look after them.’
The ten-week hike ends on Monday, October 30.
She said: ‘Our paws and feet are tired, but we are marching on to the end to continue to promote the importance of looking after our national parks and continue raising much-needed funds for the Peak District.’
Updates and photos can be found on her Facebook: SheGetsAround. Jenny will be writing blogs once she is home to share more about her adventures.