Hello, my name is Ben.
In the wake of the madness of this pandemic, and with the looming pressure of the current climate emergency we are all facing, whether we like it or not, I have come to the conclusion that I what I really need to do is to stop faffing around worrying about jobs and do something that will, I believe, actually make a positive difference.
I have always loved exploring new places. However, I do not believe I will have many more opportunities to go and spend time exploring, and learning about the world in the way that I have always loved doing.
After being conned by the outdoor industry into believing that the best thing I can do in life is climb to the summits of big hills, where there isn't usually much going on; which isnt a bad thing, but, I mean, come on! There's so much life to be found everywhere else! Or so I thought...
A lot of that life has now gone, and that which is left is disappearing fast, especially in the world's oceans.
I want to find out for myself what is actually out there in the world now, beyond the trappings of fancy documentaries and stiff textbooks.
So, rather than waiting until it's possibly too late to see anything other than rock, wind, water and sun, I have decided to throw myself into this idea, which has been floating around my head for a few years, and see what happens.
The idea itself is to journey around the entire UK mainland coast, starting in Glasgow, heading north, and clockwise, and keeping the sea to my left until, eventually, I return to Glasgow.
After suffering from a very difficult period of depression recently, I have concluded that I can only do this journey if I give back as much as I can on the way around.
Otherwise, I feel it would be a futile, pointless, and selfish undertaking.
So, after getting in contact with the John Muir Trust and Marine Conservation Society, I am now raising money to support their incredible restoration work; as well as undertaking beach cleans, seaweed surveys, other citizen science projects, and any other voluntary work I can get involved in.
To get between these, I will be walking, kayaking, and cycling.
But, since the coastline is such a wiggly and unpredictable route to follow, I expect to be moving in all sorts of wonderful different ways, like wading, climbing, crashing, sloshing, slipping, skipping, scrambling, dodging, falling, sliding, drifting, hauling, crawling, trotting, bounding, slogging, jogging, paddling, and probably, also, inevitably, swimming.
Altogether, the journey will take me about 7000 miles around this island's wonderful, varied, but also heavily transformed and polluted coastline.
This is a ridiculous distance, and it's something that I really don't know if I can actually do.
All I can do is step into it, and find out.