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Fundraising coastline walker Blue Wilson set to return to Sutherland

By Caroline McMorran

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A woman who is walking solo around the UK coastline in stages to raise money for two marine conservation charities, will return to Sutherland at the end of the month.

Blue Wilson at Thurso.
Blue Wilson at Thurso.

Blue Wilson, 49, from Selby, North Yorkshire, set off on her epic journey in December 2021 and has so far walked 2657 miles in 149 days, covering almost the entire length of Britain’s east coast and part of the north coast.

Blue Wilson has so far covered the entire length of Britain's east coast and part of the north coast.
Blue Wilson has so far covered the entire length of Britain's east coast and part of the north coast.

She is doing the walk in stages, one or two weeks at a time, alternating between heading north on one leg, and south on the next.

The Ordnance Survey puts the length of the UK’s coastline at 11,073 miles but Blue intends to walk all of Britain’s major islands and island chains as well. In total, she reckons it will be around 19,000 miles.

She said: “I am taking on this challenge in stages due to other commitments. I am alternating between heading north from the last northernmost point I reached and heading south from the last southernmost point I reached.

“I have gone as far south as Worth Matravers on the Dorset coast and as far north as Blandy on the Kyle of Tongue in one continual line.

“Every year I hope to complete as much as possible until I have successfully completed the entire UK coastline in an estimated five to ten years.

“I am walking as many of the islands as possible and Northern Ireland also.”

Blue has a support driver, Andy Argyle, who drops her off at her starting point each morning and picks her up at night. The challenge is self-funded including all travel to and from start and finish points, accommodation, food and equipment.

She is using her weekends and annual leave to walk, averaging 20 miles a day and walking in all sorts of weather.

Blue is fundraising for Surfers Against Sewage and Sea Changers and has so far raised £3906, which will be split between the two charities.

“During my treks I have become increasingly aware of the dangers facing marine life, coastal communities and climate,” she said. “I have seen first-hand some of the great work that my chosen charities do and I want to help by contributing as much as I can to their future projects.”

She begins her next walk on Sunday, April 28, when she will spend seven days heading west from Blandy to Cape Wrath, then south along the west coast to Scourie and, hopefully, taking in Handa Island.

“I will then spend two weeks in August starting the walk around the Orkney Islands with the help of half-price travel, thanks to sponsorship from NorthLink Ferries,” she said.

Blue added: “I have seen and experienced some incredible things so far on my journey and have made some amazing new connections with other coastal walkers. All doing it their own way and for their own reasons and/or fundraising.

“The thing I have found most heart-warming is the support and utter kindness and generosity of friends, family and complete strangers, many of whom see the fundraising top that I wear while walking and stop me to ask about my challenge and often donate money too.

She has set herself a fundraising target of £4000 per year per chosen charity and hopes to achieve £20,000 by the end of the full challenge.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com and search for Blue Wilson Walks. For more information about the challenge and to keep updated on Blue’s progress, visit the Blue Wilson Walks the UK Coastline Facebook page.

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