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IDENT FRAN: This podcast is part of the Tremula Network, adventure and outdoor podcasts off the beaten track. To find out more, head to tremula.network or find us on socials.
[MUSIC starts - ON THE OUTSIDE theme - Bassbeat by Alex Norton: "Funky and upbeat, jangling guitars, a fat bassline and a full horn section create the perfect soundtrack to a late summer block party."]
NIA: Hello and welcome to On The Outside, the podcast sharing diverse views on what’s happening outdoors. I’m Nia Johal, an intern working for Tremula Network this week and this is an outdoor news roundup for 25th August 2023.
Warwickshire County Council has been awarded money from the Government in order to help the county’s nature and countryside, so that the UK’s environment can improve. The money comes from a £14 million funding pot that will be shared with 48 local communities throughout the UK. Over a 12-24 month period, the Council along with the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Nature Partnership will be working closely with local people from farmers to school children to ensure as many views as possible are represented in the finalised strategy. So, if you’re in the Warwickshire area, have a look out for these changes in your local countryside.
Now, let’s travel almost two hours south of Warwickshire, to Leatherhead, Surrey where something similar is happening. The Wildlife Aid Foundation has received a £2.8 million grant from Your Fund Surrey to build a new centre. The Wildlife Aid Foundation is a wonderful foundation that has rescued and rehabilitated some of Britain’s most vulnerable and endangered animals for over 40, that’s four-zero, years. The grant will be used to build the Wildlife Aid Centre, a new visitor centre and community hub to provide year-round activities for the public. The funds will also be used to install accessible boardwalks, viewing platforms and hides which will offer visitors free access across the site. The centre will also have state-of-the-art facilities including multi-purpose meeting and learning spaces and a hub for community groups, schools and families. There will also be a community café, exhibition space and shop. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone in the Leatherhead area who wants to help their local environment or gain some experience in conservation and animal welfare. We’ll of course link this on our website and newsletter, so check that out.
A set of commemorative coins mark 50 years of The Manx Wildlife Trust’s work since 1973. The Manx Wildlife Trust is the leading conservation charity in the Isle of Man, caring for land, sea and freshwater environments. The seven-piece set depicts species seen around the island, including basking sharks, Manx shearwaters, queen scallops, peregrine falcons, grey seals, mountain hares, lesser mottled grasshoppers (which is a tongue twister and a half) as well as a different animal, insect, bird or marine creature along with their titles in English and Manx.
Colour Up Bristol, a social rock climbing group for people of colour, is offering fully-funded climbing wall instructor training sessions and an assessment. 6 candidates from marginalised ethnic backgrounds in the UK will be selected and will have two days of training. The 28th and 29th September, and an assessment on the 10th January. So if you want this qualification to throw on your CV, applications are open now.
As well, Charnwood Borough Council has a photo competition that will showcase the borough’s beautiful parks and open spaces. The deadline is Monday 28th August, so if any of you are budding photographers and are residents of Charnwood, have a look on the Council’s website at www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/loveoutdoors. Entries close at midnight on Monday 28th August.
Now I have a couple of funny outdoor stories for you all. The first one is, Iain McAllister, a 60 year old hiker was around 10 hours into California’s massive 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, whilst listening to the BBC Radio Scotland Breaking the News Podcast by Glasgow comedian Raymond Mearns on full volume when a bear suddenly appeared. Iain knew that the best way to scare away a bear is to make a loud noise. He tried to think about how he could make a loud noise, but before he had the chance to, the bear heard Raymond Mearns’ voice blasting through Iain’s phone and ran off in the opposite direction. Iain got in touch with Raymond and told him what happened, to which Raymond replied - “I was happy to be of service, bears are pretty scary but there’s not many things scarier than a genuine Scottish voice.” That story has definitely encouraged me to start listening to more podcasts, and so should you, who knows, it may save your life some day. If you have any funny stories about listening to On the Outside, do let us know, particularly if it involves a bear, Fran would really love that.
The second story I thought was hilarious was about James Utting, a 49 year-old sales manager, who set a Guinness World Record for the fastest half marathon run in three-inch high heels. James ran 13.1 miles in a pair of pointy, leopard print 3-inch stilettos in just 2 hours, 1 minute and 51 seconds. James, who has completed marathons, Ironman events and multi-day desert runs, stressed how “agonising” the experience was. He spent three months training, trotting around Knebworth, Hertfordshire in his high heels. He wore through two pairs of high heels before the day of the race during his training for the event. But the blood blisters and agony were all worth it, because James raised £4,185 for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. So girls, you think a night out in heels is bad enough, try running a half marathon in them. But hey, his legs did look great in them and if you want to know where he got them from, he said they were from Next.
Now, I’m going to end this round-up on a sweet note. 9 year-old Will Garratt has climbed three of the UK’s highest peaks in order to raise money for the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and Great North Air Ambulance Service. Will chose these charities because they helped him after he became unwell while camping with his father Dave Garratt. The father and son were hiking Scorefell Pike during the Easter holidays and after 3 hours of hiking, they set up camp near Sprinkling Tarn on Seathwaite Fell. However, when Will woke up at 4am vomiting continuously, Dave called for assistance from mountain rescue. Will was checked over by the paramedic and doctor team and luckily didn’t need to go to hospital. But after the experience, he wanted to raise awareness and funds for both services. So, Will climbed his nemesis, Scorefell Pike, Uhr Withva and Ben Nevis with his father. He raised more than £1,800 from his challenge and even caught the attention of the Prime Minister who sent him a letter acknowledging his fundraising. Also, his school held an assembly and charity day which raised a further £717.86 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Well done Will, you’re very brave for conquering Scafell Pike.
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That is all for today. If you'd like to find the links to any of today's stories, do sign up to our newsletter by heading to ontheoutsidepodcast.co.uk/newsletter.
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This episode of On The Outside was written and hosted by me, Nia Johal.
Francesca Turauskis is the Producer
On The Outside artwork is created by Sophie Nolan.
Music is Bass Beats by Alex Norton.
Anesu Matanda-Mambingo is our Social Media Assistant
And YOU have been our listener. Thank you very much for listening.