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Norwich woman is walking 5,000 miles around Britain to investigate mental health

Alice Milton in Dumfries as she walks 5000 miles around England for charity. Picture: Alice Milton

Alice Milton in Dumfries as she walks 5000 miles around England for charity. Picture: Alice Milton

Alice Milton

Being outside in the country has many health benefits, both mentally and physically. A woman from Norwich is now putting that to the test, while raising money for charity, as she walks 5,000 miles around the UK.

Alice Milton, 32, carrying a rucksack and tent, started the arduous trip on May 20 2016 in Dumfries, walking clockwise, she has been investigating the relationship between being outside and improved mood for a book she plans to write once the walk is complete.

“One of the themes of the book I am working on is the importance of access to nature for mental health and wellbeing and that’s something that I have really struggled with in the past.

“I have dealt with depression and anxiety over the past decade on and off and I’ve always found that getting exercise and walking in spaces or on the coast has been something, when other things have failed, to lift my mood.

“I want to explore the connection between those things and talk to those who are long-distance walkers and cyclists to investigate their motivations to see the overlaps.”

Alice was forced to stop in November 2016, after making it to Lowestoft, as the winter became too severe and the shortened days meant little progress could be made. After a three-month break she got underway again in March 2017, scheduling breaks in her trip to recover.

Alice is not alone in her journey as she has been joined by her four-year-old pet dog, Oscar.

“He is fantastic company, he is great at initiating interactions with other people so I’ve been able to talk to more strangers this year than I have in my entire life.

“I met one chap on the east coast of Scotland, He gave me a tour of his place and what looked like a small building was sat on a top of a Cold War nuclear bunker that extended for a kilometre further down.”

The UEA graduate is raising money thoughout her walk for the World Land Trust after working with the charity while studying for her Masters degree in applied ecology and conservation. The charity protects land by buying it. Sir David Attenborough is their patron. She has raised £1,300 so far through her Just Giving page.

Alice, from Magdalen Street, has 1,300 miles left as she continues her journey from St. Austell in Cornwall before going up the Welsh coast.

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