The Only Way is Essex for a charity walk

By Oliver Rogers, Trustee

Thames Chase Trust and Community Forest is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020. As a new trustee, I wanted to make a contribution to this year-long celebration and I have decided to take on a personal challenge.


Over five days in April (Wednesday 15 April 2020 to Sunday 19 April 2020) I will walk from Harwich to the Forest Centre at Upminster to raise awareness of Thames Chase Trust and the Community Forest.


The route is the long-distance footpath known as the Essex Way and the walk will be just over 100 miles (approx. 163 km) in length. The walk is a great opportunity for me to complete a personal challenge and walk the complete footpath. I've wanted to undertake this for a long time.


As part of the challenge, I will be carrying out targeted litter picks along the path to highlight the issue of rubbish in the countryside and particularly the problem of drinks cans.


Aluminium cans are one of the most widely discarded items and also the easiest item to recycle. Each can placed in a recycling bin can be back on the shelf within 60 days.


Aluminium loses no quality during recycling and can be recycled indefinitely, unlike plastic bottles – which have a limited number of times that they can be recycled before losing the quality of the material.


Recycling a single aluminium can will save enough energy to power a TV for up to three hours or an iPod for up to twenty hours.

I'm also pleased to help raise funds for the Thames Chase Trust and Community Forest because the Forest Centre in Upminster is vital to getting people out and enjoying countryside and woodland near the city of London and the towns of south Essex.


Parkland and woodland areas near major urban centres account for around 36 per cent of all visits to the natural environment. By making sure we have good quality green spaces near to where people live we can encourage more people to visit in a way that is less impactful on the environment, as they might be able to walk to the Community Forest rather than drive.


Research for Natural England shows that children from the most deprived areas are 20 per cent less likely to spend time outside than those in affluent areas. If we have green space near urban centres it will increase the number of children likely to visit places like the Community Forest.


We can all gain wellbeing and mental health benefits from being in nature and making sure we are physically active. Walking is a fabulous way to be more active and healthy and leave the countryside in a better condition.


I hope you can support me on this journey across Essex to Upminster. If you would like to sponsor me please visit my Twitter profile @OllieLRogers or the Local Giving page setup to receive online donations: All donations will go direct to Thames Chase Trust and support work in the Community Forest.

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