North West Way: One week to go

Exactly one week today, I will be setting off on my North West Way walk from Preston to Carlisle. At the moment, I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in and enjoying all of the fantastic scenery and places that I’ll pass along the way. The thought of spending all day, every day outside for 10 days is exciting and I look forward to birding along my way. The walks route will take me through some superb areas of countryside. From along the Ribble Way, Malham Cove and areas of the Yorkshire Dales. Many of the areas and paths that I’ll follow are ones that I haven’t before, therefore I’m very excited.

On the other hand, it’s going to be a challenge. The walk is 191 miles long and I will be doing this over 10 days. Meaning that after I include all the times I’m likely to get lost, on average, I’ll be walking 20 miles a day for 10 days. Along with this, I’ll be stopping in different accommodation every night and have to carry all the clothes and equipment that I’ll need for the 10 days in a rucksack. Physically and mentally, it’s going to be very tough. However, not only will I get to experience and visit some incredible areas, but I’m raising money for a very worthy cause. A cause which I’m very passionate about.

Swifts are superb birds. My favourite! However, this wasn’t always the case. There seems to be a story behind everyone’s favourite bird, by that I mean, why that bird is their favourite. For me, this is due to my trips to Spurn. Spurn is a brilliant place to see swifts on migration. In fact, right now great numbers are passing through daily. I remember on my first trip to Spurn, I joined other birders up at one of the points used to observe visible migration, known as Numpties. Within an hour, I’d seen more swifts then I’d ever seen in a single space of time before. This passage of streamline squawkers sent me into a phase of awe as I began to realise how brilliant they are.

There is no better way to spend a day then counting swifts on migration. Bird after bird, you never get bored, but in fact, more excited as the numbers increase and the thought of where they’re going curdles your mind. When I was revising for my A levels, there was no better way to encourage and motivate working then opening my window and listening to swifts.

It would be a real shame to see a bird favourited and enjoyed by so many decline further. Therefore, the research and work being done by the BTO is incredibly important. I am very pleased with the amount that I have raised so far and very thankful for all the donations I have received. If you haven’t yet, you can donate by clicking this link.


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