Barnoldswick former soldier set for Land’s End to John O’Groats charity dog walk (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Barnoldswick former soldier set for Land’s End to John O’Groats charity dog walk
A FORMER soldier is set to walk with his two dogs from Land’s End to John O’Groats, for a veterans’ charity.
Martin Fletcher, 41, will take 67 days to complete the 1,200-mile trek with his twin Rhodesian ridgebacks.
Martin, of Coates Avenue, Barnoldswick, had always wanted to do the famous walk and by taking his two dogs, three-year-old sisters Jess and Tara, he sees the feat as more of a challenge.
“I got these two purposely for this walk,” said Martin. “Their breed is known for endurance and agility. It’ll be a lot more challenging to do it with two dogs.”
Martin, an electrical engineer, has been training with the dogs since July, slowly building up to the trek by tackling local routes such as the Dales Way, West Craven Way and Ribble Way.
Martin, who served in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment from 1987 to 1993, wants to raise money for VAUK because of what soldiers go through during and after their military service.
He said: “I know what’s been going on over the last the years for the soldiers that have been serving in Afghanistan.
“When I was in the Army, I trained for two years and then served three stints in Northern Ireland. These days, you come straight out of training and you’re off to war.
"It’s hard for these soldiers and many of them are forgotten after serving their country.”
Martin sets off on the walk on St George’s Day, April 23, and expects the walk to take 67 days, including five days of rest, arriving in John O’Groats on June 30.
They will walk an average of 20 miles per day and all three will be carrying their own gear.
Martin will have 20kg of gear in his backpack and Jess and Tara will each carry 10kg of food and water in a carrier pack harness designed by Ruffwear.
To make a donation to Martin’s fundraising effort, contact the Pendle-based VAUK in the charity’s office in Kelbrook on 01282 787479.
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