Get Active For Nature: Walk, Run, Cycle, Wheel or Swim for Wildlife!

The Wildlife Trusts proudly announce new ambassador, Rhiane Fatinikun, founder of Black Girls Hike, will champion the Big Wild Walk this October

The Wildlife Trusts’ Big Wild Walk is set to be the most exciting yet with their new ambassador, Rhiane Fatinikun, backing this year’s challenge – and a special thumbs-up from TV presenter, Steve Brown.

Rhiane is an award-winning outdoors advocate and community organiser. She founded Black Girls Hike (BGH UK) in 2019 to challenge the stereotypes and lack of representation in the outdoors.

This year, Big Wild Walk participants can create their own adventure, whether that’s by walking, running, cycling, wheeling, or swimming, offering flexibility for getting involved. Funds raised will help wildlife recover and contribute towards The Wildlife Trusts’ goal of protecting 30% of UK’s land and sea for nature by 2030.

The Wildlife Trusts are leading a swathe of projects across the UK to reintroduce keystone species such as beavers, revive marine habitats such as kelp forests, and create more space for nature by rewilding larger areas.

This autumn, The Wildlife Trusts also team up with multi–Academy Award®-winning animation studio, Aardman Animations, to co-create Timmy Time materials to encourage families with young children to take part. The specially created Hedgehog Walk is designed for pre-school and Key Stage 1 pupils, who can choose their own Timmy Time themed character fundraising pack, including Apricot the hedgehog and Stripey the badger, to complete the challenge with. The challenge is to walk 3km in a week, the same distance a hedgehog travels each night.

The Big Wild Walk takes place during half term from Monday 16th to Monday 30th October 2023. Sign up at wildlifetrusts.org/bigwildwalk

Rhiane Fatinikun, founder of Black Girls Hike and ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts, says:

Spending time hiking in nature is incredibly special and I love sharing my experiences of the outdoors with others. I’m absolutely delighted to become an ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts as the Big Wild Walk gets underway. I started my journey into the great outdoors with no hiking experience so I’m keen to encourage everyone, no matter their ability or background, to take that first step. Signing up to the Big Wild Walk is a fantastic way to support nature and wild places whilst doing something you love. Or mix it up and turn it into a run, swim or bike ride – the choice is yours! I hope lots of you join us this October to champion nature by having a wild adventure no matter how big or small.

Steve Brown, television presenter and athlete mentor, says:

All my life, I’ve found the greatest pleasure in exploring the countryside and championing our wild places. I believe nothing should hold you back from enjoying the great outdoors and it’s so exciting that The Wildlife Trusts’ Big Wild Walk this year invites participants to take up the challenge in whatever way that works for them. Whether you choose to walk, run, cycle, wheel, or swim, I’d encourage everyone to sign up and invite their family and friends to join in the fun too. However big or small your adventure, all funds raised by taking part in the Big Wild Walk will contribute towards The Wildlife Trusts’ goal of protecting and connecting 30% of UK’s land and sea for nature by 2030. Feeling inspired, start planning your challenge now?!

Kate Cook, brand manager at Aardman says:

We are delighted to champion this fantastic challenge through our Timmy Time characters, specifically engaging younger participants through the Hedgehog Walk. We hope families love our character packs and learn something new about the incredible wildlife around them along the way.

Jo Richards, head of communications for The Wildlife Trusts, says:

I love spending time outdoors and this year my partner Rob, and a couple of friends Lizzie and Dan, decided to tackle the epic 268 mile Pennine Way, hiking a section every month. For last year’s Big Wild Walk we planned to complete the final 26 mile stage in one go. Setting off in the dark one early morning from Byrness we made our way across moorland and peatland descending from the Cheviots at dusk into the tiny border town of Kirk Yetholm in Scotland. It was everything you’d imagine an adventure to be with stunning landscapes cloaked in mist!

I’d encourage anyone thinking about completing a long-distance walk in the UK to give it a go, there’s nothing quite like the joy of exploring the countryside as part of a challenge. My journey was also a reminder that the peatlands of the Pennines are the sorts of landscapes we urgently want to see restored and abundant with wildlife once again. So, why not start planning your own adventure, sign up to the Big Wild Walk now and help us bring back wilder places?

Written by: Naomi Crowther

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