Kirsten waves goodbye to Hughes Hall’s Centre for Climate Engagement to help ‘rewild Britain’.
Hughes Hall staff member Kirsten Lamb (Engagement Project Manager, CCE) is leaving their role in May to hike the 2.650 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on the west coast of America.
With challenges such as snow, wildfires and physical injury, only around 50% of people who attempt to hike the PCT actually complete it and Kirsten will need to walk over 18 miles every day for approximately 5 months to finish the trail. They are hoping to use the opportunity to raise money for the charity Rewilding Britain.
Kirsten grew up hiking in the temperate rainforests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest, developing a love of nature and wilderness as well as a strong sense of place that was based in those ecosystems. Having moved to the UK as an adult, they still love hiking but quickly noticed something missing: the UK is one of the most nature-depleted places in the world (source) and wildlife was much harder to find.
As the climate crisis deepens and the IPCC recommends urgent action to both reduce carbon emissions and capture the carbon already in the atmosphere, restoring natural ecosystems back to health is one of the most important approaches available.
Rewilding Britain champions policies and projects that seek to reverse the decline of nature so that people and the planet can thrive. In addition to capturing carbon, healthy natural ecosystems provide resources, cleaner air and water, resilience to extreme weather, and opportunities for recreation.
Hiking the PCT requires hikers to carry everything they need to survive on their backs, camp in the wilderness, climb mountains and ford rushing rivers. Hikers take on pseudonyms to signal the change in mindset and lifestyle on trail, and while hiking Kirsten goes by “Cedar”, named after the western red cedars that thrive in the Pacific Northwest. They have been dreaming about and planning this hike since 2016, when they found out that the trail that runs from Mexico to Canada could be hiked in a single, continuous adventure over 5-6 months.
You can follow Kirsten’s planning and progress on Facebook or LinkedIn, and donate to Rewilding Britain through their JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cedar-hikes.