Unique Charity Walk Starts In Scilly

jonathan PearsonThe first steps in a 1,200-mile charity walk along the full length of the UK were taken in Scilly this weekend.

And professional photographer Jonathan Pearson has an unusual angle. He’ll be taking photographs along the way and selling them to raise money, as part of his ‘Portrait of Britain’ project.

Jonathan is extending the more usual Land’s End to John O’Groats route to include the most south-westerly part of the UK, Scilly, as well as it’s most northern point in the Shetlands.

He’s flying back to the mainland this morning to continue his trek, which is likely to take him over three months to complete.

Jonathan visited St Agnes this weekend, and completed a coastal walk around St Mary’s yesterday.

He says he was told the islands would be beautiful by friends but they’ve exceeded his expectations.

As a former historian, he was interested in the burial chambers and rock formations and says he’s already taken 250 photos to add to his website!

He described the scenery as “beautiful” and “legendary” and feels that starting in such a picturesque place will be tough to beat.

From Radio Scilly

Jonathan Pearson talks about his Scilly to Shetland walk.

He’s also worried that he’ll need to slim down some of the weight of his 17kg backpack if he’s going to manage the 10 to 15 miles of walking needed each day.

Jonathan is raising funds for two organisations.

As someone who has suffered from mental health problems, he was keen to support the charity MIND. And he feels the process of organising the walk has helped him to deal with his own bipolar condition.

The second charity was founded by a friend who lives near his Weardale home.

Women in Need was set up fourteen years ago to assist women in Indian who have been ostracised by society, either because of diseases like leprosy and HIV, or through sexual abuse and rape.

Jonathan says he’s a “bit of a loner” so won’t mind the long solitary periods of walking, but says he’s had plenty of support from his friends and family.

You can support Jonathan and view his photographs along the route through his website at www.portraitofbritain.co.uk.