Updated: Aug 31
Words: Paul Chapman Images: Love Her Wild
Clare Freeman (pictured above) is looking forward to her part in the Womens’ End2End Relay, a 2,028km (1260 mile) hike taking in more than 36,000m of elevation through some of the country’s incredible wild spaces, from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Clare lives locally after moving to Chesterfield during lockdown. She coaches climbing at the Depot in Sheffield and has a real love of the outdoors.
"My involvement in the hike involves organising the five local legs that pass close to Chesterfield,” Clare explains. "The adventure is being organised by Bex Band, founder of the women’s only adventure company ‘Love Her Wild’, the main purpose is to complete the relay, passing a baton between walkers, celebrating and encourage women to get outdoors."
"The baton has been carved from a piece of UK birch wood, the design created by Florentina Curphey (aged 10) following a competition for girls across the UK to design the baton."
Clare is looking for women to get involved in the walk. The walk is taking place over 74 days, with 15 sections, each of five days where people can join in and walk together to do a stage or more.
"I would love for women over the age of 18 from Chesterfield to join me and take part in this adventure. Each of the Peak District sections are within easy reach of the town so will be a lovely day out exploring the picturesque National Park while meeting new people,” says Clare. “It’s £25 per day to join us, and the money we raise is going towards The Woodland Trust which is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK.”
There are a maximum of 24 people on each day who are accompanied by leaders and there are still spaces on each of the days as I write.
Also, they are after female leaders to help with covering the sections so if you are a qualified Lowland Leader, Hill and Moorland Leader or Mountain Leader, have outdoor first aid and your own insurance, please get in touch. It’s a voluntary position but travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.
Many people are still struggling to get back to a life anything close to the normal we all experienced before the pandemic, striding out on one of the LEJOG stages could be just what’s needed to help on the road back to normality.
Bex from Love Her Wild, says "women and minority groups are still massively underrepresented in the outdoors in many areas, so I launched Love Her Wild to create a positive space to help tackle this. Our supportive community is not interested in competition, going the furthest or being the fastest. Instead, our adventures put a focus on teamwork, building skills and having fun. There has never been a more important time for women to connect with other women and to realise the benefits that come from spending time in nature."
If you’d like to get involved, adding to the total of over 400 women that have already signed up the details are below and women are welcome to join the local Derbyshire and Yorkshire Love Her Wild Facebook groups which can be found by searching on Facebook.
Sat 16 to Wed 20 July