April 2023

A 572 mile journey crossing East to West.

This May, Ed Birchmore will be undertaking a 36 day, 572 mile walk from the UK's East to West via an inland route. Ed is hoping to raise £3,000 to help the British Skin Foundation as well as raising money for BBC Children in Need.

The challenge

Starting on the 1st May, Ed will begin his journey in Lowestoft in Suffolk, the easternmost town in the UK, and end his journey 36 days later in Lands End, Cornwall's farthest and most western point. Ed has created the route by stitching together many established national trails and footpaths to create the inland route. 

The journey will see Ed walking around 15 miles per day with little more than his tent and backpack for company. 

The route will take Ed through 12 counties: Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

You can click here to take a look at Ed's planned route.   

Going off-grid

One of the key objectives and challenges of the walk is to be as low-carbon as possible, 'unplugged' and off-grid whilst still posting videos and other social media updates.

In the early planning stages, Ed struggled to find an alternative to solar to power his journey, as England is not known for the reliable sunshine, and charging his kit to record the journey and stay in contact with everyone was vital. That's when he found a company based in Nova Scotia, Canada, who have designed and developed their 'Shine Wind Turbines' specially created for backpacking and travelling off-grid.

To add an extra element of challenge, Ed will also be looking to prepare as many foraged meals as possible, with a pub meal every now and then along the way.

Supporting the BSF 

On why he chose to support the British Skin Foundation, Ed Commented

In the last six months, two very close family members have been affected by skin cancer, one a rare and very aggressive type and the other fairly common but no less serious if it hadn’t been removed. Fortunately, both have been successfully treated, the former currently in post-radiotherapy prior to further treatment a long road to recovery still ahead. I used to live in Australia where awareness of and preventative measures to avoid skin cancer and other skin diseases are taught from primary school. I now live in Cornwall where, like many places in the UK, that message still hasn’t entirely been adopted.

You can support Ed through his Just Giving page below or read more about his upcoming journey on his website. 

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By donating to skin disease research you are helping us to find treatments and cures for common conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis through to potential killers like melanoma skin cancer. Thank you.