110-mile trek for wildlife

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A GROUP of Morpeth teenagers put on their walking boots for a long-distance trek in aid of a conservation charity.

The 110-mile route from Glasgow to Fort William along the West Highland Way was taken on by nine King Edward VI School Year 13 students.

They marched in all types of weather conditions and some even carried on at the finish point to go up Britain’s highest peak.

Although two of the group had to drop out during the 10 days because of illness, they still made an important contribution to the fund-raising.

Sam Lamont, Joshua Bailey, Simon Pickles, James Famelton, Ricky Thompson, Craig Martin, Errol Kerr, James Carr and Angus Wilson collected more than £250 for the John Muir Trust, which is dedicated to the protection of wild land for both nature and people.

Ricky said: “Four of us walked along Hadrian’s Wall last summer and it was a good experience so we decided to do something similar this year.

“Others wanted to join us and it was suggested that we do it for the John Muir Trust because we could raise money for an important charity and achieve an award that it runs which is a bit like the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

“When we looked at places for the trek, the West Highland Way appealed to us as it was over wild land and offered picturesque views.

“The conditions were reasonably good compared to earlier in the summer and there was only one day of heavy rain. We also got a bit lost in the mountains but apart from that, and two of the group having to drop out, the trek went very well.

“There were lots of moments when we had a laugh and it has made us an even closer group of friends. It was my birthday during our walk and the others got me a cake at lunchtime, which was nice of them.

“Many of the people we met were very friendly and gave us useful local information.

“When we got to the end at Fort William I felt relieved as I was ready to go home, but a few of the group wanted to carry on and they walked up Ben Nevis.”

The contingent completed their John Muir Trust award last week when they did some hedge cutting by pathways at the College Valley in the Cheviot Hills.