#GetOutsideDay

Today we are celebrating #GetOutsideDay, championed by Ordnance Survey. Our Education Officer, Bryony Carter has been on a mission for the last few years to climb all mountains over 2000ft in England and Wales, going from a complete novice to expert 'peak bagger'. Read her blog below to find out why this challenge has become so important to her.
Bryony Carter

Over the past 10 years I have been inspiring the next generation through engagement with nature. There is nothing more rewarding for me than watching young people thrive in an outdoor environment, but there was just one problem, I wasn’t listening to my own advice.

I found the allure of climbing mountains particularly appealing but the thought terrified me...where do you start? I had walking boots, my rucksack was a laptop bag, I had leggings, an old hoody and a cheap waterproof. I was essentially a walking disaster waiting to happen.

However I was lucky and a good friend who was an experienced walker started taking me with him. He was climbing a range of mountains in England and Wales called The Nuttalls, categorised by all being over 2000ft with a prominence of 40ft. They are located in National Parks from Dartmoor to Northumberland, in some of the most well-known areas to some of the most remotest fells in the country.

I remember the feeling of climbing my very first mountain, it was like a weird rush of adrenaline, awe and a little smugness for clambering up a craggy ridge.

Bryony Carter

Number one was an underwhelming summit called Rough Crag. On reaching the summit I thought my heart was about to burst out my chest with sweat streaming in places it shouldn’t!

I was hooked and decided to continue with The Nuttalls - all 446 of them!

Bryony Carter

Over the last few years I have grown to be at home in the mountains. I have experienced all weathers; had moments of pure joy and moments of tragedy that have reminded me of how precious life is. I taught myself to read a  map and compass; walk in crampons with an ice axe; wild camp as I watch the sunset; and most wonderful of all I found a community of fellow hikers who are just as addicted to exploring as I am.

My go to phrase when people ask why I love hiking is normally “you never meet a grumpy person up a mountain”..

Currently I am at a peak number 200 and looking to complete the English fells in 2020. My fitness and mental health has never been better and my connection to protecting nature has never been more strong.

Bryony Carter

It doesn’t have to be mountains that you fall in love with, nature has no agenda or finish line but if you find yourself at a loss more weekends than you care to admit, pop some old trainers or wellies on and start exploring.

Getting outside is really key to mental health and wellbeing and from a conservation point of view, the more people that engage with the natural environment, the more likely they will be to value and treasure it.

Get lost, because I guarantee it will lead to something amazing!

 

 

Bryony Carter, Shropshire Wildlife Trust's Education Officer

Get Outside!