Team BCN take the Big Wild Walk challenge!

By Caroline Fitton

Meet some of the team taking on the challenge to walk 303,030 steps for wildlife in support of our 30 by 30 campaign! Can you match us?

We're getting ready to take on the challenge of the Big Wild Walk this half term, and we can't wait to get outdoors.

Whether it's to get ourselves out from behind our desks, involve other members of the family or team, or just to measure all the walking done as part of our jobs protecting wildlife and wild places - and believe me, that's a lot of walking - we're readying our pedometers and dusting off our fitbits. Will you support us?

Sponsor Team BCN

Meet some of the team and find out why they're walking!

Becky and Maddie the dog

Becky Green

"I walk quite a bit with my job – I’m a ranger at Trumpington Meadows – but even I have days where I’m just stuck in front of a laptop or sitting in the tractor. Luckily I have my two dogs to keep me on my feet so a day doesn’t go by where I’m not outside!"

- Rebecca Green, Senior Ranger

Josh's walking boots ready to go

Josh Hellon

"Me and my son Isaac (4) have pledged to walk in a different park or nature reserve every day next week. It’s really important to me that we get outdoors regularly – and fortunately Isaac really enjoys getting covered in mud. I’ll also be counting my steps at work – I’m aiming to be on a few reserves doing drone surveys and will likely cover a few miles."

- Josh Hellon, Monitoring & Research Manager

Sue Barnard setting off on a Big Wild Walk!

Sue Barnard

"Over the next week I will be getting up a bit earlier to go for an early morning walk just before I start work. I’ll be getting on those boots and wrapping up to enjoy the autumn leaves, some wintry sunshine and looking out for birds, fungi and insects around the local lanes near to where I live. Then in the evenings I’ll be doing another walk, probably just after dusk or once it gets dark with my head torch. Over next weekend I’ll walk a bit further and try to visit some of BCN’s nature reserves including  one of my favourites, Hardwick Woods.

I’m also planning to meet some of my work colleagues for a walking meeting (all social distanced, of course!) around Cambourne Nature Reserve sometime in the week to rack up some more steps for the Big Wild Walk. Cambourne’s a favourite haunt for our Corporate Team and we love going down to Whomping Willow lake and walking along by the hedgerows that flank the reserve.

We’re hoping that some of our companies will support us through this too to get staff out walking for wildlife!"

 - Sue Barnard, Senior Corporate Partnerships Manager

Toni at the Nene Wetlands

Senior Ranger Toni Castello at the Nene Wetlands

“As a Senior Ranger based at the Nene Wetlands, one of our biggest and busiest nature reserves, walking is a huge part of my job and it’s one of the things I enjoy most about it. There are miles of paths around the reserve, and this week – though I’ll only actually be working for three days - I will be walking many of them, as usual, and checking whether the paths are safe for visitors or need some maintenance, on the habitats and how best they need managing for our wildlife and also watching for our returning winter wildfowl, whose numbers will be increasing over the coming weeks. I will also be meeting with external consultants about path upgrades and security at the Nene Wetlands, which will also involve showing them around specific areas of the reserve on foot. It’s a joy to be able to get outside so much as part of my work taking care of this special place.”

- Toni Castello, Nene Wetlands Senior Ranger

The Comms team venture out into autumn

Some of Team Walk and Talk getting ready! By Sophie Busch

"As a Communications Team, getting out and about in all weathers is not part of our job in the same way that it is for many across the Trust. But we all love the outdoors and our reserves, and couldn't resist the challenge of a Big Wild Walk!

We have been working from home since lockdown began, and all feel the effects of being stuck indoors in different ways. Getting outside is so important, especially as the weather changes and the nights get darker again. We've all pledged to get outdoors every day this week and help build up our collective step count as Team Walk and Talk - and we're raring to go!"

- Sophie Baker, Communications Officer (in the yellow hat!)

Gwen setting out on a woodland walk

Gwen Hitchcock, Senior Monitoring & Research Officer

“I feel very lucky that most of my survey work involves walking around our wonderful nature reserves looking for important plants and animals, or in some cases the evidence they leave behind. This week I will finishing off our dormouse surveys for the year by looking for their prints in specially designed footprint tunnels.”

- Gwen Hitchcock, Senior Monitoring & Research Officer

Richard Knock at Totternhoe

Richard Knock, Bedfordshire Reserves Officer, at Totternhoe. By Sophie Busch.

Ranging up and down the countryside around Totternhoe and Pegsdon Hills, Richard Knock's work as a Bedfordshire Reserves Offices involves a lot of brushcutting on the slopes and livestock management - checking on the various flocks of sheep and cattle used for conservation grazing on our reserves, ensuring miles of fence are in a good and safe condition and moving herds between sites, among many other things - and this kind of distance represents a typical working week. It takes a lot of dedication, and not all of it is just in walking, as his hand-rearing of two lambs earlier this year proved!

Take the challenge

Big Wild Walk

Get active, discover your local nature reserves, make memories and raise money for your Wildlife Trust! 

Pledge your steps and sign up!

Wildlife Trust