Hedgerow Heroes Race for Wildlife!

Tuesday 30th August 2016

Hedgerow heroes race for wildlifeJames and Ben in training

It’s a crazy challenge - cycling, canoeing and running more than 170 miles across the county in just three days. But Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Ben Habgood and James Herd hope their ‘Race for Wildlife’ will raise vital funds for hedgerow conservation in the county.

The lads are hard at work training for the tough event, which will see them:

• Canoeing 24 miles upstream on the Wey Navigation.

• Cycling over 114 miles on roads including the infamous Box Hill climb.

• Running a 35 mile ultra-marathon.

"We probably won't get much sleep between challenges as we need to maximise the daylight to complete each leg,” said Ben, grazing ranger for the Trust. 

“We're also both really busy with our jobs so we haven't done as much training as we'd have liked yet! So there's no doubt this is going to hurt and everyone's support is going to be much needed to get us through the 3 days."

The pair are raising money for the Trust’s ‘Hedgerow Heroes’ project, which is all about saving Surrey’s ancient hedgerows, that are vital for wildlife.
The last challenge the duo undertook was to run 65 miles in 16 hours back in 2014 – but this time the lads have really stepped things up a gear.

"The challenge in 2014 was a tough one,” said James, who is part of the Trust’s commercial development team. “But thanks to fantastic support we managed it and raised the funds needed for a research project on harvest mice. This year we’re pushing ourselves even harder to raise money to launch the ‘Hedgerow Heroes’ project. 

“This is a huge citizen science project and we want people to get involved to discover more about the amazing ancient hedgerows on their doorsteps and the wildlife that depends on them. 

“Hedgerows form the backbone of our landscape – many date back hundreds of years. This project will look at the health of our hedgerows and the wildlife that uses them. The information collected will help us to preserve these vital natural highways, which link green spaces together."

The ‘Hedgerow Heroes’ project is part of the Trust’s vision for a Living Landscape - where our nature reserves and other green spaces are connected to form a network across the county, enabling wild plants and animals to interact, move around and expand their populations.

Ben and James will be heading off on their endurance race on Friday September 16th, starting in their canoe. They’ll be getting on their bikes on Saturday September 17th, before running their ultra-marathon on Sunday September 18th - finishing at the annual Norbury Park Open Day at the Trust’s sawmill, near Dorking.

Ben and James need as much support as possible and are appealing for the public to get behind their fund-raising challenge. Donations can be made on the website www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SWTraceforwildlife2016 or by texting RACE24 from a mobile phone to 70070 followed by the amount you’d like to give - £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.

Follow James and Ben’s training journey on social media by searching for #R4W.

Tagged with: Events & Shows, Fundraising, Living Landscapes