Ribble Valley's plucky Philip (82) in epic 300-mile 'Lord of the Ring' challenge
A super-fit 82-year-old Ribble Valley man is battling through snow, rain, plus freezing temperatures and setting the pace with his mammoth 300-mile walk to raise cash for the Ribble Rivers Trust.
Each day (except for Sundays when he does it twice!) Philip Lord is walking from his home in Cow Ark and completing a 4.7-mile circuit of the area, known as "The Ring of Whitewell".
Philip, who is chairman of the RRT - a charity dedicated to improving and protecting the rivers and streams of the River Ribble catchment, had initially set himself a goal of walking 100 miles, but he quickly surpassed that and is now aiming to complete his charity challenge by carrying on with his daily walks until he reaches 300 miles.
Alongside his trusted four-legged friend Freddie, Philip is hoping to raise enough money to cover the tens of thousands of pounds of extra costs the RRT has incurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The father-of-three said: "I am really enjoying my daily walks. As I have become fitter, I have gradually increased the number of walks per week! I've been chairman of the RRT since it was formed 23 years ago and we have 24 members of staff. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we, as have lots of other charities, suffered financially. I just want to raise as much money as I can so we, as a team, can continue in our work in restoring the Ribble and surrounding catchment to its former glory for the benefit of wildlife and people."
Speaking about the cold weather, Philip, who is married to Joan and has seven grandchildren, said: "Well, it certainly has been freezing and slippery out there! This week we have had very varied weather, from brilliant sunshine to a beautiful snowy day with all the trees and hedges covered on the Tuesday, with no birdsong and little traffic. Freddie has been a stalwart companion, but I am not certain that he will walk every walk with me because he likes a change of direction and a run! The only drawback to walking this time of year is the amount of clothing needed in inclement weather, but once I am togged up I enjoy the exercise, and on a cold wet morning a cup of coffee and a piece of homemade parkin is very welcome when I come home."
He added: "I am grateful to everyone who has donated so far. Your kind donations will help RRT to conserve and improve the River Ribble, and the rivers across Lancashire and North Yorkshire that flow into it, for wildlife, for people, and for the future generations."
Praising Philip's fundraising efforts, Jack Spees, CEO of the RRT, said: "Philip has been our chair for 22 years. His contribution to the trust has been enormous, and even at 82 years of age he’s not done, determined to see our river and the environment around it healthier for all – wildlife and people. We are so appreciative of everything he does for the us all – keep going Philip!”
Anyone wishing to support Philip, is asked to click here