Longton pensioner battles 100 mile walk around nature reserve after eye-opening trip to Uganda

A woman from Longton who tackles long distance walks every two years to raise money for charitable causes close to her heart has now set herself her next challenge.

Keen walker Cath Greenlees, 77, from Longton, has set her latest task to walk 50 tiresome laps around the Brickcroft Nature Reserve for Christian Aid and other charities working in developing countries.

In a feat that will trail just over 100 miles, Cath is hoping to raise much needed funds for charities who help to support poverty stricken families in third world countries in Africa and Central America.

Every two years she walks between 60 and 90 miles along well known national trails. In 2019, Cath walked the Wye valley and the Forest of Dean and had planned a New Forest trip for next year.

But this year, because of Covid, her fund-raiser is different and very local to her Longton base - 50 laps from her home on Franklands to the Brickcroft nature reserve.

It will take her little over two miles every day during July and August - equating to a total of 105 miles by the end of the charitable challenge.

Cath, who previously worked as a teacher, began her long distance walks in 1997 following an eye-opening trip to Uganda with Christian Aid supporters.

She spent a decade walking as far as 90 miles with her husband Cliff before he died in 2008, but has since continued to raise money for the charity and do the walks alone.

77-year-old Cath is walking 105 miles over the next month

The former teacher said: "The first walk I ever did was in the summer of 1997, when me and my husband walked from Lancaster to York to raise money for Christian Aid.

"The year before that I had been lucky enough to travel to Uganda with a group of Christian Aid supporters, where I saw the amazing work they were doing with providing education and clean water and it opened my eyes.

"Every two years we did a long distance walk together and since he died in 2008, I have continued to do the walks every other year to raise money. It all goes back to my visit to Uganda.

"In the current circumstances I have postponed that plan and have arranged this local walk so that I can still travel the long distance.

The local Brickcroft nature reserve is the route she will be taking every day

"The Brickcroft is a very attractive Longton feature, three lakes formed from the pits where clay was dug to make bricks.

“The walk will raise money for Christian Aid projects combatting climate change - planting drought-resistant fruit trees in Kenya and cocoa saplings in Nicaragua.”

"The money will also go to Christian Aid sanitation and clean water projects in poorer parts of the world and to the Syrian Crisis Appeal and the Corona Virus Emergency Appeal."

And her efforts don't stop there, with her fundraising also going to the Friends of Mulanje Orphans, Malawi (FOMO), a Walmer Bridge-based charity that offers community based care to around 3,000 orphans.

The money will also benefit a primary school in Uganda, where many people face famine, along with the Traidcraft Exchange, the charity wing of Fairtrade company Traidcraft.

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