A hedgehog-inspired charity hiker has walked over 1,000 miles of rugged terrain with her two dogs, raising almost £5,000 for local charities.
In 2014, Julie Campbell challenged herself to walk 500 miles to get fitter, tracking her progress with a walking app. And after coming across an injured baby hedgehog in a cattlegrid some time before, she decided to raise money for her local hedgehog sanctuary, Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary in Keighley.
When the Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary unfortunately closed, there was considerable interest in the Facebook page she had set up documenting her trevails with her two dogs, Mollie and Digger.
Keen to maintain her fundraising efforts, Julie redoubled her efforts in the name of half a dozen local charities, including a swathe of hedgehog funds and Pendle Dogs in Need.
“I wanted to include dogs because I’m a dog-loved,” said Julie, who - in tandem with her two ‘Sprollies’ (a Springer Spaniel, Border collie cross-breed, Mollie, seven, and Digger, four - has covered over 1,000 miles.
“I’ve just done my 600th mile this year, so we’ve done about 1,200 altogether,” Julie continued. “We’re carrying on; we’re going to do another challenge next year.”
Now with over 300 supporters on her ‘Walk for Wildlife and Woofers’ Facebook page, Julie is coming to the end of her 2016 challenge - the ‘Six Ways in 2016’, which covers Pendle Way, Pennine Bridleway, Calderdale Way, The Yorkshire Three Peaks, The Dales Way, and The Lady Anne’s Way.
Determined to raise in any way she can, Julie has also sold sweets at Lloyd BMW in Colne where she works as Assistant Parts Manager, and took bric-a-brac donations to car boot sales, but with more walks planned in the future, the intrepid triumvirate is far from being finished.
“They [the dogs] have been brilliant. I love dogs and it’s been fantastic. It’s made them a little famous, so they’re loving it!” said Julie, who admits the walks have been testing at times. “[Calderdale] absolutely destroyed us!” she said.