This week, Andreas Gschwari (34), an IT designer from Guildford, Surrey, will begin the gruelling challenge of walking the entire British coastline in a year – all to raise funds for conservation charity Trees for Life which works to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands.
Sponsored by Vango, Andreas will spend all of 2011 and early 2012 on his epic ‘Walking for Trees’ adventure, covering over 4,600 miles (7,400 km) on foot. After setting off from Brighton on Sunday 6th February, he will walk the entire main island of the United Kingdom plus several outlying islands. If all goes to plan, he will to return to Brighton on 11th February 2012.
Andreas, who is originally from Austria but who has lived in the UK for 10 years, said: “I want to raise as much money as possible for Trees for Life, and to highlight the importance of conservation and tackling climate change, while enjoying a challenging but fun journey through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.
As Andreas intends to spend most of the trip camping, Vango was delighted when he approached them for some key kit.
“Andreas’s passion for this challenge and for Trees for Life was clear from his first letter to us and, as a Scottish company, we are particularly pleased to be able to support a charity that strives to restore the Caledonian Forest,” said Stephanie Antezana, Vango’s PR Co-ordinator. “We support a number of different projects and individuals every year but it’s always great to see someone embarking on an adventure within the UK and we are certain that the Spirit 200+ tent, Ultralite sleeping bag, Pumori rucsac and other accessories we have provided are ideal for this challenge.”
Having grown up in the heart of the Austrian Alps, Andreas says he has enjoyed hiking in mountains for as long as he can remember. He is a long-time supporter of Trees for Life, and has twice joined the charity’s Conservation Holiday Weeks, which allow people of all ages and abilities to take part in direct conservation work in the Highlands.
The Trees for Life charity works tirelessly to restore the Caledonian Forest and has achieved remarkable results, planting over 900,000 trees so far. “This work has had a profound impact on the Highlands and is tremendously important. Restoring natural woodland creates habitats, boosts biodiversity, and provides a natural carbon sink that helps to combat climate change.”
For more information or to donate, visit Andreas’s website www.walking-for-trees.org.uk. The website also has links to his blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. Andreas’s updates will also be posted on the Vango website and social media pages.