Nine-year-old Simeon Williams and his father Richard are spending the midterm holidays walking St Cuthbert’s Way across the borders of Scotland and Northumberland to raise money for two worthy causes.
The couple traveled from their home in Ipswich and started their 100km journey in Melrose.
The walk was Simeon’s idea after being inspired by a lecture on wolves at his local zoo.
And when he learned the endangered animal inhabited the Scottish Borders, he persuaded his father to help raise much-needed funds.
The couple set out from Melrose intending to sleep in a tent, but Scottish weather dictated a change of plan, and they spent the first night in a hostel in Jedburgh.
Papa Richard said: “Simeon has wanted to hike St Cuthbert’s Road ever since we visited the area last year on vacation.
“We had the sleeper up in Edinburgh and luckily the Borders Railway allowed us to get to Tweedbank before leaving.
“His mother Suzie and younger sister Bethany wrote inspirational letters to motivate us on our journey.
“I had never been to the Borders before, but everyone was incredibly friendly. Even the taxi driver who took us to Jedburgh gave us a donation.
“I carried the tent but Simone carried her sleeping bag and her clothes which weigh about 5 kg.
“We did a practice walk to see if he would be able to do the 100k and he showed he could.
“The whole family is very proud of what he does.”
Simeon said, “I want to raise awareness and funds to protect the wild creatures of our world, before it’s too late for them.
“Wolves are amazing animals and they are under threat due to habitat loss. I want to do what I can to help them and all endangered creatures around the world.
“It was difficult at times because of the weather, but it stopped raining when we crossed the border into England.
“I think I’ve raised £425 so far but hopefully we can get more donations. I’ve told all my classmates about it but I don’t know if they were paying attention but my teacher made a donation.
All money raised will be divided equally between: The Wolves and Humans Foundation, a UK-based charity dedicated to the conservation of Europe’s large carnivores – the wolf, brown bear and lynx, and Action for The Wild Charity, Colchester Zoo’s charity which supports conservation projects around the world, helping to preserve and reintroduce vulnerable and endangered species into the wild.
A GoFundMe page has been created at www.gofundme.com/WalkingForWolves to help raise funds for two separate wildlife charities.