A paper map was all it took to help walking officer Nick Burton find his way from Lancashire to London.
Despite being chased by herds of cows, tackling out-of-control nettles and struggling to find somewhere to camp at night, it wasn’t enough to stop our Nick from completing the mammoth walking challenge.
The author and rambler successfully completed the walk from his home in Clitheroe, Lancashire to the Houses of Parliament following only footpaths and bridleways and an Ordnance Survey map.
Accompanied by nothing more than his ruck-sack, tent and map, the challenge, saw him walk for over 12 hours a day over two weeks to finally reach his Capital destination.
The aim was to raise awareness of the importance of our rights of way network at a time of budget cuts and to encourage the Government to invest in walking as an alternative means of transport to cars.
After two weeks of walking, covering a distance of 280 miles, Nick arrived in central London on Monday 29 June. He was invited into the House of Commons where he delivered his petition to
‘Get Britain Walking’ to his Ribble Valley MP, Nigel Evans.
He was also met on Vauxhall Bridge by staff from the head office of the Ramblers who cheered him on and posed for photos.
Nick said, “I enjoyed delivering my petition to Parliament the old fashioned way on foot and using nothing but a paper map to get me there! I don’t think many people know how to read maps these days because unless you do things like the Duke of Edinburgh, people don’t get taught. However it still remains an important tool because had I taken a computerised navigation system I’m sure it would have run out of batteries.
“I had no idea I had reached London until I had actually got there because I came in via the back door! The route I took didn’t have place signs, I was surrounded by nothing but fields and paths most days, some days I didn’t even come across a person or a shop!”
Nick Burton, 49, an author of several walking books and former public rights of way officer, was met in London by his wife and family to celebrate his achievement. He added: “ I would like to thank everybody who has supported my walk on social media and hopefully my MP will now take my petition forward and highlight the importance of walking to government ministers.”
He currently works as a community physical activity instructor for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.