Throughout this year, a local man will be cycling the equivalent distance between Bedford and Adelaide in Australia to raise funds for a children’s charity.
By November 2022, Hugh Maltby will ride 10,000 miles through wind rain and snow to raise £5,000 for the Country Days charity. That’s 50p for every mile he pedals.
Country Days was founded in 2018, by the late Ann Hadfield, who had a vision of giving children in Bedfordshire the opportunity to explore the wonders of nature, reconnecting with the wild and discovering the world around them.
Their six-acre nature reserve, The Leys, is situated near the picturesque village of Felmersham and includes woodland, a pond and open fields for visiting children to play and learn about their environment. The charity runs Easter and Summer courses with various themes including ‘surviving in the wild’ and ‘stories of nature’.
Impact of Covid
The hidden impact of the pandemic on the younger generation is becoming all too clear to see. In 2022, Country Days are hoping to run more courses than ever, giving children, who wouldn’t ordinarily be given the chance, to enjoy the beautiful Bedfordshire countryside.
“Research has proven that spending time outdoors is beneficial for emotional, mental, physical and social wellbeing,” said Helen Hadfield, co-founder of the charity.
“Country Days gives children in Bedfordshire the opportunity to explore the wonders of nature, reconnect with the wild, and discover the world around them.
“There is no digital animation that can truly capture the magic of discovering frogspawn in winter, finding the first flowers of spring, running through summer meadows or seeing the leaves turning gold in autumn.
“At Country Days, we want to give all children the opportunity to learn about nature, from nature, in nature and we believe this has never been more vital.”
To enhance the children’s experience and enable Country Days to run more courses, this year’s fundraising will allow the charity to build two further rain shelters, an additional landing stage and science hut for pond dipping, four more compostable toilets, additional tables and chairs, a portable microscope, more bug hunting materials and field nets for looking at meadow flora and fauna.
“Please support us today and make a real difference,” said Helen.
“You can make a donation at Hugh’s JustGiving page here.”
Find out more about Country Days and how you can support them here.