Today will see Roger Foreman, 47, from Richmond, North Yorkshire, embark on a 12 month walk of the UK.
Roger will be the first hiker ever recorded to attempt the route, which will cover all of the National Trails in one continuous connecting loop, linked up by other trails - all to raise funds for Age UK, the charity dedicated to improving life for older people.
Inspired by his previous 5,416 mile walk around the UK's coastline twenty years ago, Roger has been yearning for the chance to take on this next challenge which will see him cover 5,000 miles of tough terrain across the UK. After the first 100 miles, Roger will be joined on this incredible journey by his son, Joshua, 16, once he has completed his GCSE exams.
Roger, who has put his career on hold and moved in with friends to save money for his backpacking walk, is dedicated to raising funds for older people after seeing first-hand through his work as a carer how vulnerable some older people can feel.
Ahead of the walk, which starts today (Thursday 2nd August 2012) Roger said:
"I am so excited to be embarking on another challenge of this scale. To take a year out and walk the National Trails of the UK will be extraordinary but also - and most importantly - I'll be raising funds for a really worthwhile cause while spending probably the best quality time ever with my son!
"Age UK does a tremendous amount to help older people receive the information and support they require on so many issues. It's daunting getting older in this country and Age UK offers a place to turn to when help and advice on care and other serious issues is needed."
Roger's challenge will commence in Hessle, Yorkshire, and the dedicated duo will aim to complete the walk by August 2013, finishing in Aviemore, Scotland. The pair have been training hard in preparation and getting used to their backpacking equipment together on smaller camping trips to ensure they are fit enough to complete their target 15 - 20 miles each day so that they can cover the full length of the walk in 12 months.
"The hardest part of the walk is going to be coping in the wet weather, but it will all be worth it to see some of the UK's most beautiful spots and raise money for Age UK. This is the perfect way to give something back."
The longest trail will be the South West coastal path which spans over 600 miles, but the journey will also take them to the top of Great Glen Way in North Scotland and far West in Wales along Pembrokeshire's Coastal Path. They will take in World Heritage Site Hadrian's Wall Path and two of the highest peaks in the UK: Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, and Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles.
PICTURED: Roger Foreman and son Joshua
Paul Farthing, Fundraising Director at Age UK, said:
"What an incredible journey this is going to be for Roger and Joshua. Walking for 12 months to raise funds for Age UK shows complete dedication; it's just fantastic. We're truly grateful to them for choosing to support the charity - they will not only raise vital funds but also help to grow awareness of Age UK and the importance of our work for older people across the country. We wish them the best of luck and we'll be following their progress keenly."
To support Roger and Joshua, visit their fundraising page at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ROGERFOREMAN.
To keep up to date with Roger's progress, go to his blog which he will be updating on route: http://rogerforeman.blogspot.co.uk/?spref=tw.