This question has taken on a whole new complexion since walking 150 miles from Malvern to Liverpool – almost anywhere is within walking distance if you have enough time…
I walked with my friend Hazel Eyton-Jones, who I met at West Malvern WI, and it took us nine days. At the end of the walk, we presented a green heart to Janice Langley, then Chair of the WI, to thank the WI for getting involved in the climate change agenda.
Inspired by the WI’s green heart campaign, I have started to present people with green hearts to thank them for taking positive action on climate change. And what better way to travel than walking?
We started local, with members of Poolbrook WI and West Malvern WI walking round Malvern and presenting green hearts to our theatre for switching to LED lighting, our community centre for generating solar power and growing food, a charity dress exchange for encouraging us to re-use and a supermarket for buying renewable energy. We involved our MP and generated somelocal press coverage.
The walk to Liverpool was altogether a different proposition. The most stressful thing was making the green heart. It had to be good enough to present it to the WI – I didn’t want to let the side down. It took several attempts, but in the end I was pleased with the result.
During our walk we stayed with WI members when we could. They were all incredibly generous, opening their homes to us and looking after us. I suspect that Sally (Holt WI) and her husband Dave (pictured above) thought we were crazy, but welcomed us anyway. They are excellent conversationalists – and very good at drying out sopping wet walking boots…
Cathy (Dabber Dames WI) and her husband Phil welcomed us with a green heart tree in their hallway, as Dabber Dames members are also involved in the green heart campaign. Cathy and Phil are full of a joie de vivre, and the evening rang with laughter.
Ann (Whitegate WI) and her husband Fred are real characters. They introduced us to Nancy, who showed us her membership card from when their WI was started in 1954 and regaled us with stories as we ate lovely local food.
Our final stay was with Lorraine (Runcorn WI) and her husband John. Lorraine introduced us to the other members of their craft club, who we joined for lunch at the Annual Meeting – and also introduced me to lamb bananas (look them up if you’re curious).
Hazel and I had a fantastic trip. We had a lot of fun as well as raising the profile of the need to take action on climate change. We became experts at climbing through, under and over fences at great speed while being stampeded by cows. We walked in the sun and the driving rain. We talked and laughed a lot. And we became even firmer friends – all thanks to the WI.
West Malvern WI