I am writing this while in Hojer. This is on the South West coast of Denmark near to the German border. The West coast of Denmark and this area in particlar have extensive wetlands of international importance. The Wadden Sea has salt meadows in front of the dykes that provide a habitat for specialised plants and animals. More than 100,000 breeding pairs of coastal birds can be counted here every year. The coastal mudflats are a resting area for about 10 -12 million migratory birds on their annual journeys. There are worms, snails and mussels at up to 100,000 per square metre.
On my journey, I have had my very own close encounters with wildlife. I keep a journey diary and it is Cycle 7/70. Also you can visit my site at twitter where I say what is my next part of my journey still to be done. Please click on to these links to find out more
I have now cycled the Orkney and Shetland Isles. From Sumbugh on Shetland, I flew to Bergen in Norway last Wednesday. My journey now follows the Norwegian coastline South and East towards Sweden. The first part of the journey is rugged and heavily forested. The North Sea is dotted with a multitude of islands and my journey crosses many of these. Badger, my mascot, is a minor celebrity and his photo has been sent to a family in Oslo where he has been well received.
Bergen was the start of my journey here and tonight I have arrived in the lively port of Stavanger. So far I have cycled 1,650 miles but it is stll not half way.
I have a website to follow the journey. To do so, please click onto this link: Cycle 7/70
As I write this, I am reflecting on today's ride. I have cycled up through the centre of the Northern Highlands. I just come back to my caravan home for tonight from a tour of the Kyle of Tongue. This is breath taking beautiful scenery and I am fortunate in having some good weather. There are otters, seals and a wide variety of birds here. I am updating my website to follow the journey with pictures on www.cycle770.blogspot.com.
I have now completed 792 miles and am in St Andrews tonight. The East coast of England and Scotland has a mixture of stunning scenery and big towns. Wildlife for me is something to appreciate and enjoy and there is plenty to see on the North Sea coastline. If space permitted on my bike, I would have bought a Collins Book of Birds.
Oystercatchers are regularly seen on Devon's beaches. In Scotland, I am amazed to see them feeding in arable fields miles from the coast. Can anyone tell me that this is normal behaviour?
I have a website to follow the journey and I am updating this every two days. It is Cycle 770 .If you click on to this link, you will see my story as it unfolds
My journey started yesterday afternoon in Harwich. I have a mascot and it is a badger. Badger will be following me all the way. This is Constable country that I have entered .
I have reached Framlingham, a distance of 83 miles. The first cuckoo was heard at 9.45 this morning. The rolling countryside of Suffolk is beautiful and villages stunning. There are cowslips in the meadows. I have looked for the magnificent Suffolk Punch horse but so far not seen one.
Badger has already incurred topical discussion
Quick reminder. My journey starts from Harwich, England on 24 April.
Please check latest on http://www.cycle770.blogspot.com
Today I saw a deer. There is nothing unusual about that, except in this case I was on my bike and came face to face with it. What happened next was that the deer ran just in front of me for about 200 metres then hopped into the hedge and ran alongside me for another 200 metres. Now that is unusual.
My best mate and wife, Sylvia and I bought a small farm of 8.5 acres back in 1990. At that time, it had 3 acres of ancient woodland which was also a County Wildlife Site. The rest of the land was grass but seemingly nothing special.
We have worked hard for wildlife on our farm, It is fantastic news for us that our Grassland has just been designated a County Wildlife Site. This is a site of County importance for a particular wildlife habitat or for special wild plants or animals.
A total of £750 was raised for Devon Wildlife Trust during the week of the Adventure Talk. The students at UCP Marjon donated £130, a total of £120 was donated by others and Helpful Holidays donated a gigantic £500. Huge thank you to everyone.
The Press continue to follow the story of Cycle 7/70 and Plymouth Evening Herald printed an article about the Adventure Talk. Devon Life Magazine have asked for photographs. The picture shows Graham Wilson receiving a cheque from Helen Hayes of Helpful Holidays
Helpful Holidays are pleased to support Cycle 7/70, and will be making a donation of £500 to the Devon Wildlife Trust at the Adventure Talk on the 2nd February 2010.
I will be giving an illustrated talk about my cycle ride in the Khangai Mountains of Mongolia in 2006. This is one of the remotest and romantic parts of the planet, inhabited by nomads and their animals.
Come to hear the story and know more about my impending cycle ride to Norway and back starting on 24 April 2010.
Only at UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF MARJON, DERRIFORD, PLYMOUTH (NEXT TO AIRPORT)
On TUESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 2010 at 7pm
Cost £4.00 (All proceeds to Devon Wildlife Trust)
I am a Chartered Surveyor. I receive lots of business magazines and here are few received in the last month where it does really seem that business is taking notice to go green:
Chartered Surveyor Magazine titled "Construction Journal" Nov/Dec 2009. The vital link between construction and sustainability is featured, explained and promoted to Surveyors.
CLA Magazine "Land and Business" Dec 2009 reports that DEFRA'sCampagn for the Farmed Environment is "a real opportunity for farmers to prove productive farming can go hand in hand with a good quality environment".
The British Standards Institute is proposing to introduce a Standard for businesses to demonstrate carbon neutrality (PAS 2060)
Are these all a step in the right direction? Needless to say, how does wildlife benefit from all of this? At the time of writing, this website has had 1648 hits. If you read this and feel strongly, I am committed to the importance of wildlife within the environment. Would you be willing to provide extra money to Devon Wildlife Trust via Cycle 7/70 as The Wildlife Trust (the parent Trust) is an important organisation that Government listens to? Remember, all money that I collect goes to the Trust and there are no hidden costs.
Have just had 6 weeks off from cycling, some of which was on holiday. I started training for the challenge earlier today. Here is a brief resume of my aims.
My first training ride is just 11 miles but there was plenty of rain, wind and Devon hills to make it feel longer. My muscles are ok despite the layoff. I plan to ride on 2 to 3 days a week through the winter to build up fitness and stamina.
My bike is a Trek Cyclocross X1 modified for long distance touring. I visited Big Peaks at Ashburton this afternoon and ordered new front forks and front panniers. The bike has done 5,500 miles up to now. It needs occasional tlc and I am very happy with it.
Devon is one of the best parts of the country to train for long distance cycling as everywhere you go there are hills. It is just a matter whether they are more steep or less steep.
I have now done much of my route planning. My new start point is Harwich and I will leave there on 24 April 2010.
Several of my friends and both my daughters will be joining me on parts of the route. This is great news for me.
I can do better on my fund raising for Devon Wildlife Trust. In addition to money already received, I have pledges of £610. Many people have also said that they will support me. I will be out and about doing more fund raising.
Thanks to everyone who has taken an interest so far.
Earlier this month, my friend Bill and I found the delights of cycling in Provence.
Based in Avignon, we could if we wanted pretend to be a Tour de France cyclist and climb Mont Ventoux. However, we wanted to explore hidden Provence and this is easy to do on a bike. Life seemed timeless as we checked out cafes, watched men playing boules and saw grape harvest.
Eurostar took us direct to Avignon in 5.5 hours with their new summer service.
Now, talking of summer services, does anyone know how to get from Shetland to Norway in May 2010?
It amazes me what must be done to plan for this challenge. There are now just 7 months before I set off. These are just a few things that go through my mind.
Am I fit enough? Do I have the stamina? How is fund raising going? Is my bike ok? What do I need to take with me?
I have a Trek X1 cyclocross bike that has been adapted for long distance touring. It has done one 1,100 mile ride without fault and 5,000 miles altogether. It is a great bike but will need a big overhaul.
I have done lots of cycling this year. In the last 12 months, I have been in snow in Scotland and + 35C in Provence. My longest day ride was through Snowdonia to Criccieth from Stafford at 120 miles. My hardest was 102 miles from Weymouth to Ivybridge with hills all the way.
Fund raising? Hmmm. Could do better, I think. Including pledges, it stands at £1,800ish + lots of promises.